The Adam Smith Institute's Deputy Director, Sam Bowman, was quoted in CityAM and the Daily Mail on the government's proposal to commission and build homes on public sector land. From CityAM:
However, the government's latest bright idea for a fresh intervention into the housing market came in for sharp criticism.
Deputy director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:
The housing shortage does not exist because the private sector doesn’t want to build new homes – prices are rising rapidly, which signals demand is outstripping supply and there is profit to be made. The problem is that developable land is so scarce because the planning system makes it so.
Bowman argued that selling off public sector land would be a good idea, but if the private sector shows no interest in the land being sold, it's a pretty clear indication it's not somewhere people are particularly keen to live.
If the government then decides to build houses on the unsold land anyway, it would mean funneling taxpayers' money into houses nobody wants to buy. The key to alleviating Britain's housing shortage, says Bowman, is to liberalise the planning system and allow development in places where people actually want to live. In turn, that means "rolling back the green belt".
From the Daily Mail:
Sam Bowman of free market advocate the Adam Smith Institute, said: 'The housing shortage does not exist because the private sector doesn't want to build new homes. The problem is that developable land is so scarce because the planning system makes it so.'
Read the Mail Online's feature here.