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The 'housing crisis'

View profile for Molly Frankham
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We have all been seeing in the news recently, and possibly even experienced the problem first hand, that we in England are experiencing a “housing crisis”.  To give you a brief picture of the problem, the National Housing Federation estimated that 974,000 new homes were needed between 2011 and 2014 but it seems in reality only 457,490 were actually built.

The disparity in the figures could be due to any number of things, slow planning procedures or developers hoarding large tracts of land without building on it. Another obstacle is the problems involved in developing brownfield sites; these sites are less desirable being that they are often ex-industrial sites. It is estimated that there are enough brownfield areas in England to accommodate 1.8 million new homes – more than enough to please the National Housing Federation! Housing Minister Brandon Lewis plans on changes to planning rules to create a “principle of development” on brownfield sites, but then again, ministers say a lot of things…

We then have the issue with the houses that were actually built, ready for sale. The cost of purchasing a house is through the roof. The blame for rocketing new build house prices is pinned on developers; it is claimed they are making the most of the crisis by holding on to property with a view to maximising their assets. The worse the crisis – the more in demand the houses they do have are, and so, the cycle continues.