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From the Archive: 1980’s Housing Crisis

This article from 1981 gives a platform to the private house building industry, who claimed to be able to solve the then “impending” housing crisis from the supply side. After allowing for a full articulation of the developer’s position, the article concludes that nothing they proposed will solve the housing supply issue (because the land tenure system encourages speculation) save a full land tax.

It is interesting to note the figures involved compared to today. Property developers then argued they could build up to 270,000 new homes, as was achieved in the 1930’s. Today, they argue that the 80,000 they are building this year is something to celebrate! It is also worth noting that the private housing industry has never built more houses than were made in the 1930’s. Even if they did it would be less than half of what is now required per annum (Lord’s Report).

Today, we are in need of millions more houses and no organisation, public or private, seems able to deliver.

 

May-June+1981
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