2926 days ago
Self-appointed leader of the angry young left Owen Jones reckons that we need to build a million new homes in the next few years to solve a housing crisis. By “we” Owen – as ever means The Money Tree/the ever grateful taxpayer. Heck you pay for your own house so why not pay to build one for someone on Benefits Street as well? Bargain. Except that Owen is 100% wrong on this. To be fair so are most of the political classes – there is no need to build a single new home.
My starting point is the Empty homes statistics for 2012 (the most recent currently available). These showed 920,000 empty homes across the UK. This excludes those unfit for habitation, due for demolition and – critically – an estimated 300,000 empty homes above shops. So the real number is c1.2 million homes.
But how, I can hear Owen whining, do you propose getting those homes back into use? Actually it is very simple. Even a deluded lefty with a tenuous grasp of economics should be able to understand the solutions.