Theresa May’s announcement that the government will commit £2bn to build new social housing is unlikely, in my opinion, to achieve three things.
1.Convince prospective Corbyn voters that the Conservatives care about the poor.
2.Convince Conservative voters that this government actually believes in standard Conservative ideas.
3.Actually make a dent in the housing crisis.
Put simply, the policy is a fake bone, thrown to an imaginary dog, in the wrong direction.
It is true that the decline in government-built homes since the 1960s has never been compensated for by private builders. However, it would be a misreading of history to assume that the only way to solve the housing crisis is to return to a prelapsarian era of state home building.
Throughout the 1980s, while the number of state-built dwellings were decreasing year-on-year, the number of privately built homes was on a buoyant upward trend, growing roughly 75% from 118,000 in 1981/82 to 207,000 in 1988/89. Since the 1990s, however, the growth of privately built new homes has flat-lined…
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