There is, to our mind, much too much attention paid to, reporting of, symptoms rather than the root cause. And it's only when the root cause is correctly identified that it is possible to come up with a solution:
Vulnerable tenants are being pushed out of the housing market as cuts to benefits and rising costs mean rents are “increasingly out of step” with household incomes, a leading industry body has warned.
Yes, we know this. We also know that student loans are a problem as their existence means that yuppies cannot buy a house because houses are so expensive. And unemployed people cannot move to London where the jobs are because housing is so expensive. And we can't keep key workers in expensive areas of the country because housing is so expensive. And there's a wealth generation gap opening up of those who can afford expensive housing through inheritance as against those who cannot because housing is so expensive.
And variously people have told us that we should have a higher inheritance tax to close that wealth gap, that key workers should have a special scheme for cheaper housing, that something must be done to aid the unemployed in moving and student loans must be changed so that yuppies can buy and then here, that something must be done about housing support for those on benefits.
All of which are to try to treat symptoms. It's as if a doctor were to note a severe rash, fever, headache, neck stiffness and intolerance to light and set out to treat each. Skin cream for the rash, aspirin for the fever, ibuprofen for the headache, a neck brace, a darkened room and so on. Instead of getting to the root cause and starting to treat the meningitis.
Not treating that root cause is entirely ineffective as well as likely leading to the death of the patient.
And so it is with housing. The common point here is that housing is too expensive. We do not want to construct some rickety apparatus to deal with each, nor even any, of the symptoms. We want to excise the original problem ,the expense of housing. And we know how to do that. Restricted supply means high prices, that's one page one of each and every textbook. The answer is thus to build more housing.
We have no shortage of land we only have a shortage of land that can be built upon. May be built upon is perhaps better. Mischa Balen sorted that out for us over a decade ago. Just let people build houses on the land they'd like to build houses upon.
Or as we tend to put it these days, blow up the Town and Country Planning Act and successors.