I read with interest your editorial (February 21) on rental landlords and the injustice suffered by tenants excluded from the prosperity generated by the rise in property prices and who finance the comfortable retirements of their landlords.
While the suggestion of extending the right to purchase regime to the private sector is at first glance attractive, it will unfortunately not help those who will never be able to afford to buy property. How will an individual earning minimum wage be able to pay the deposit required by a mortgage lender? Since the average mortgage is paid off over 25 years, anyone over 40 is likely to be excluded.
All political parties have avoided the fact that there is a chronic shortage of social housing. The Thatcher administration’s ban on local authorities using funds obtained from former council tenants who bought their properties to build new council-owned homes was short-sighted and caused incalculable social harm.
The right to permanent housing is a fundamental human right and a cross-partisan issue. Will Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer be prepared to accept and promote the fact that the only solution to the shortage is the biggest public housing program since the end of the Second World War?
Keeley Jasmine Cavendish
You attribute the shocking rise in house prices to a lack of inventory coming to market. How refreshing that you recognize that this is not due to a shortage of physical homes, but to wealthy hoarding homes and frantic home building catching the attention of investors.
Here in South Oxfordshire, the government is forcing us to build three times as many houses as the planned number of households, meaning two newly empty dwellings for each one that becomes a house. This boosted the market and prices. The concreting of our land is causing us to lose the Oxford Greenbelt and fragmenting the landscape. Lost land cannot be restored for nature and regenerative agriculture.
Labor’s intention to ban foreign ownership of new homes should be extended to all homes and more localized: you cannot buy a home in Oxfordshire (old or new) unless you are, or do not intend to become a resident.
All houses should be sold for residential use only, slowly ending the problem of housing for investment. Some holiday businesses could be enabled by allowing premises for this purpose. It may seem drastic, but it’s the only way to bring prices down and house our people well. Limit the market, don’t increase the supply.
Dr. Sue Roberts
District Councillor, South Oxfordshire
The housing shortage dates back to the Thatcher years and the privatization of rentals. When she tried to turn every tenant into a conservative by pushing people to buy their social housing, she left a hole for the councils, which she made sure they couldn’t fill with the cuts on the how much they could charge and what government grants they could get. to. Many homeless people and many tenants could surely be housed by local authorities – the biggest obstacle is the current government’s ideology.