The components of a Labour housing policy are gradually being revealed. First we had some pronouncements on the need for longer tenancies and more stability in private renting. Then we had the idea that what we need is less money spent on benefit and more spent on building affordable rented housing. And yesterday we had Ed Miliband comments on boosting housing supply, as part of a wide ranging speech on the theme The discipline to make a difference.
The central contention was that the key to the housing supply problem is land hoarding – organisations and individuals owning land that could be developed but with no intention of developing it. This is a practice that needs to be discouraged, principally by giving local authorities more powers, including time-limiting planning permissions. [Read more…]