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The Peace Party of the United Kingdom

Peace Party’s Radical Policies on Housing

The Peace Party has always identified the need for the provision of housing as a priority – but has never looked at the problems closely nor quantified that need until now.  It is clear that there are – too few homes – prices are too high for many to buy and rent – there is overcrowding – homelessness is a worsening problem – and yet there seem to be empty properties.

What are our policies?

a.    The Peace Party agrees with the assessment of need identified on the Parliament website in 2015 which stated that the UK needed up to 300,000 housing units to be built every year for the foreseeable future.  The Department for Communities & Local Government announced on 16th November, 2017 that in 2016/7 only 217,570 units were added to the housing supply.  This needs to change urgently – supply is not keeping up with demand.

(Example: Guildford requires 654 homes to be built per year for the foreseeable future.  There are about 1,300 empty properties in the Borough, about 2.4% of the total stock.  It is very likely that there will always be empty properties as residents move, carry out renovation work and so on.)

b.    Only when the supply of homes exceeds the demand might it be possible to say that all homes will be affordable.  The “market force” of an excess of supply over demand will ensure that the price of homes falls to a level where all people can afford to pay.  At the present time, the so-called “affordable homes” are only accessible to a minority of home-buyers.

No-one writes or talks about “affordable rents” for those who do not wish to buy, whatever the price.

c.    In order to ensure that the 300,000 target is reached each year, the following measures outlined in (d) to (i) below are seen as essential.

d.    In order that sufficient land is available, it is suggested that all land is taken into the ownership of the people of the United Kingdom so that they have complete control over its use.  This should ensure that land-owners, currently “sitting on” land in order that its value rises as demand for it grows are relieved of their selfish possession.

e.    As a supplement to this, it is suggested that planning restrictions on any home-building are re-visited and revised; for example, the Peace Party would advocate the suspension of all the “green belts” that surround towns and cities for up to 25 years.

f.    Local councils should be made responsible again for the construction and operation of homes for rent.  All rented homes should be brought under the control of the people and responsibility for the operation of them given to local councils.

g.    Large homes-building firms should be brought under the control of the people – to prevent profiteering and to ensure that government-generated funds, for the creation of homes, are well-spent.

h.    Firms manufacturing and supplying building materials should be brought under the control of the people, again, in order to ensure that there is no profiteering.

i.    Controls on immigration should be eased for those seeking work in home-building while further education colleges should receive sufficient funding to ensure there is an adequate supply of well-trained workers in the building trades.

j.    As new areas of housing are built, local authorities must be charged with ensuring that the local health-care and education systems are expanded in advance to meet the demand of the new population.  Similarly, those authorities must ensure that the transport infra-structure is also expanded well in advance also to meet the demand (by the provision of new roads, cycle- and pedestrian-ways, railway stations, as appropriate to the area).  Where noise, for example from extra traffic, may be likely to become a problem, then all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that it is reduced to the minimum (for example, by the building of walls and bunds and the planting of trees and shrubs.

The government should again provide the necessary funding.

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This website is published and promoted by John Morris for The Peace Party, both at 39 Sheepfold Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 9TT.

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