This is surreal, I agree with pro-EU Stephen Hardy’s ‘migration from the EU does boost housing demand...’ (6/5/16), but disagree over ‘a housing shortage’, per se: Britain has ‘one million empty’ (and unoccupied) homes potentially housing 2.4m people.
UK population (outside the EU) in 1970 was 56 million (18.6m households of 2.9 people: ONS) projected to be 64m by 1999 (growth of 275,000 p/a; 95,000 new households p/a), by which councils plan house-building programmes.
In 1999 (inside the EU 15) it was 59m (less than predicted: 22.4m households, 2.5 occupancy) projected to rise from today’s 63m to 73m (EU 28) by 2030 (10m more people; 2.4 occupancy – the equivalent of 10 Birmingham’s houses, roads, schools, factories).
Ten million people over 15 years = 666,666 more per annum; by chance we have 600,000-plus immigrants (50 per cent EU) per annum, but housing immigrants (and indeed refugees) seriously disadvantage Britons waiting on housing lists, so charity must begin at home by controlling immigration and population growth at sustainable levels, especially as England is the second most densely populated region in Europe.
So, where do we build 10 new Birminghams?
Stephen’s Lib-Dems want three in the South East (Hastings/Bexhill, Ashford and Maidstone/Medway are already designated major expansion zones).
But this expansion is driven by governments’ demands to boost their Holy Grail GDP (more immigration, factories, airports) simultaneously increasing ‘man-made global warming’ by concreting over our agricultural Weald and Kentish Garden of England, transforming it into urban allotment garden (with pony paddock)!
Controlling immigration and population is crucial to protecting our irreplaceable rural England!
The quite separate ‘affordable housing’ issue (rented and mortgaged) is indeed through political incompetence: ending double mortgage tax relief (1987) drove unrealistic five-times income mortgages pushing up house prices.
The ERM driven 15 per cent interest rates burst the housing bubble (it was very painful!) but Labour then fed again the house price frenzy with buy-to-let ‘pension investment’ mortgages (paid through tenants’ rents)!
Today’s lack of ‘affordable’ housing is entirely due to artificially high price expectations fed by super-low, deflationary, interest rates but no government dares raise interest rates to boost the economy for fear it will drive repossessions!
Their answer? Sell council houses and build tax-payer subsidised ‘affordable’ rabbit hutches driving up house-prices!
The world has gone mad!
Barry M Jones
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