Special Measures: Is housing policy at a turning point?

Special Measures
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Date(s) - 29/10/2013
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Strategic Society Centre

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A public debate on the new radicalism emerging in UK housing policy.

Speakers at this event will include:

  • Ruth Davison, Director, Policy and External Affairs, National Housing Federation
  • Josh Miller, Senior Economist, RICS
  • Toby Lloyd, Head of Policy, Shelter
  • Matt Griffith, PricedOut
  • Chair: James Lloyd, Director, Strategic Society Centre

Twitter: #specialmeasures

“Build more homes” has become a universal political maxim, but few expect the UK’s housing shortage will be fixed during the next decade.

However, more stakeholders are now abandoning the notion that housing policy can be left to market forces, and a growing interest is observable in radical, unorthodox policy interventions to address the effects of housing under-supply on both households and the economy.

Recent examples of such ‘special measures’ proposed include:

  • A ‘cap’ on annual house increases;
  • Rent controls in the private rented sector;
  • A ban on new-build homes being sold to private landlords.

Politicians also appear more willing to consider unconventional positions: both the London Mayor and Leader of the Opposition have floated “use it or lose it” rules for undeveloped land.

Amid signs the public are also less inclined to view rising property prices as a good thing, the conditions now appear to be in place for manifestos in the 2015 general election to adopt the most radical policies on housing seen in decades.

This public debate will take stock of the new radicalism in debate on how public policy should respond to the effects of the housing shortage, and ask:

  • What are the key effects of housing under-supply for households and the economy? What policy responses are possible?
  • Why are we seeing new interest in unorthodox housing policy interventions now?
  • What are the lessons from overseas when governments have tried unorthodox measures?
  • How can we ensure that the new ideas and ‘special measures’ proposed are given a strategic direction and focus?

You can view the slides from this event below.

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