Today David Cameron gave his speech to Tory Party Conference.
Last week I spoke on behalf of UNISON at the housing voice “how to tackle the housing crisis” fringe. A similar event was held at Lib dem conference.
At the fringe event I told my story. I am a low paid worker, I am 28 and I still live with my Mum. I can’t afford a privately rented house and I certainly can’t afford a massive deposit and a mortgage. I told a packed room that failing to give housing a high enough political priority was a mistake and that money spent building houses stimulates the economy and in its own way pays for itself.
Today David Cameron said this:
then there are those who say “yes of course we need more housing”…
…but “no” to every development – and not in my backyard.
Look – it’s OK for my generation. Many of us have got on the ladder.
But you know the average age that someone buys their first home today, without any help for their parents?
33 years old.
We are the party of home ownership – we cannot let this carry on.
So yes – we’re doubling the discount for buying your council house…
…we’re helping first-time buyers get a 95 per cent mortgage…
…but there’s something else we need to do – and that’s accept we need to build more houses in Britain.
There are young people who work hard year after year but are still living at home.
They sit in their childhood bedroom, looking out of the window dreaming of a place of their own.
I want us to say to them – you are our people, we are on your side, we will help you reach your dreams.
David Cameron seems to think that buying your council house and relaxing planning regulations will solve this deep and serious problem. Well I don’t think it will.
If you allow people to buy their council houses, then that council house isn’t available for the next generation to occupy. Meaning another council house needs to be built and in general they aren’t being built.
Then there is the relaxing of planning laws. Meaning developers can build the houses that will deliver the biggest profit rather than houses that fit the need of the population. Last week Ed Balls said that a labour government would built 100,000 new houses with the money raised from the sale of 4G. These would be a variety of affordable and social housing. Although I think that doesn’t go far enough and we would need that many houses every year, it tackles the issue more than David Cameron’s lacklustre attempt.
So David Cameron, where are the new houses going to come from and will hey be for for purpose? You didn’t say because you don’t know seems to be the sad truth.