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Letter: The Council Should Build Social Housing – Not Speculate

Published on: 21 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2016

Guildford Housing House NumberFrom Roland McKinney

In response to the article: Local Plan ‘Will Tackle Potential Housing Crisis’

Demand and supply is not the only reason for higher house prices – just look at the profit margins of house builders. The chairman of Berkeley Homes received the second highest pay package in the UK last year, with a benefits package of more than £22 million for the year.

According to The Telegraph, his company has the most generous incentive scheme ever put in place by a British company, with about £1 billion due to be disbursed to company executives if they meet their targets. All of this comes from house buyers, every penny, and house builders can rig the market in their favour by limiting the number of houses they build.

emails letterWhat is needed across the country, including Guildford, is a social housing programme, totally divorced from private builders, so that real affordable homes are provided. Left to its own devices the private sector will always do what it is best at – maximise its margins.

Guildford Borough Council could set an example and use money they have borrowed to fund a large social housing programme on land they own, but they’d rather play the speculation game, instead of doing what is best for their less well off residents.

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Responses to Letter: The Council Should Build Social Housing – Not Speculate

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    The UK house builders are the equivalent of OPEC in the oil sector.

    They limit supply, so as to push up prices, and thereby maximise profits for themselves.

    Their landbanks are the equivalent of the massive underground reserves the Saudis etc. retain, only to be released when they see the opportunity for even greater profit.

    The discredited revised Local Plan only serves their purposes.

    Can GBC compel the developers to build, or decide where they build? No. They leave us entirely at their mercy.

  2. Neville Bryan Reply

    April 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I completely agree with Mr McKinney. Council houses are needed by all councils and is the way to go to avoid boom and bust in the sector. It’s not like they do not own the land, and it’s the only way to combat the developers exploiting the limited market.

    This system would return to bench marketing the rental values too, keeping rental prices sensible.

    It’s called competition and isn’t that what is supposed to underpin Conservatism rather than being led around by the developer sector profit margins?

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