End the Housing Crisis in Five Steps
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It seems quite clear to me that the housing crisis can be solved in short order through a concerted package of measures. These seem so obvious as to beggar belief. They are:
- 100% rental value tax on residential property held vacant for longer than 6 months. (This would include the vast new private estates bought up by foreign investors and never occupied.) The additional tax revenue can be dedicated to housing via Local Authorites.
- Increase in interest rates on mortgages to normal levels (say 5%) to force house prices to fall back to affordable levels. (There is no justification for people to make hundreds of thousands of pounds from simply holding property.)
- Allow Local Councils to borrow to buy or develop housing. In a market where normal pricing applies, this will be far more achievable.
- Tax companies on their cash reserves above a certain limit to fund housing. It is unreasonable for companies to hoard cash beyond normal operational levels. Use it or lose it. The additional tax revenue can be dedicated to housing .
- Offset the Government's borrowing against banks' massive liquidity reserves. The money held by banks to protect them in a financial crisis should be guaranteed by the Government, in return for the Government being able to use that money to offset long term borrowing. The saved money can be dedicated to housing promoted and developed by Central Government.
These are policies that will solve the crisis. The Government has to take action in the interest of the disenfranchised majority not the property holding minority. Everyone pays the cost of the housing crisis whether you like it or not - regardless of whether you live in a house worth thousands or millions. This can be ended in a few years with dedicated practical steps.
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