HOUSING CRISIS TAP is asking 18,700 Facebook UK followers to ring alarm bells at MPs surgeries and demand action now

8 January 2017

HOUSING CRISIS - Taxpayers against Poverty demands immediate action:

  • An immediate rent freeze for a year in all sectors private, registered social landlords and councils, while rent regulations are brought in,
  • All land owners to pay an annual ground rent to the government to force the use of unused land and empty property. Builders’ land banks own 600,000 plots of unused land. They cannot put land in an overseas taxfree Bank. 

This follows a series of ten blogs on affordable housing published on the TAP website (thie index is here) and a letter to both government and opposition housing spokes-persons. demanding immediate action. 

Reverend Paul Nicolson – to be spoken at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, on the 9th January 2016, while sounding and alarm bell on the day MPs and Peers returned from their Christmas break with no plans address a severe UK housing crisis

TAP is asking 18,600 Facebook UK followers to consider ringing alarm bells at MPa surgeries and demand action now - the more bells the better. 

MPs and Peers return from their Christmas break today. While they were away the Resolution Foundation showed that half the UK population do not own their own homes, when properly counted.

The ONS wrongly counts a house in multiple occupations as one when it could be six or seven. That method of counting households has led to the conventional wisdom that home ownership has fallen to 64%.   

MPs and Peers return to Parliament with no immediate plans to relieve the suffering of people living in rented  eviction, homelessness, hunger and ill health.

Tenants are suffering mental and physical ill health and a rising death rate from a toxic mixture of low incomes, rising slowly if at all, and rising rents. The squeeze takes their income needed for food, fuel, clothes, transport, clothes and other necessities.

Taxing benefits with council tax and enforcing it by adding court and bailiff costs is worse than toxic. It has been fatal when added to the stress of enforcement of rent and council tax while people have no income for a month or three months due to a benefit sanction.

The crisis has grown out of thirty years total failure, both practical and moral, of the market to provide enough affordable homes to rent or to buy. 

​​Morally land is a gift of nature, or to people of faith the gift of a generous God designed to provide shelter, food, fuel, clothes for all. It ought not to be grabbed by the rich and powerful for private use at the expense of the rest of us. Many people managing the Church’s land and finances seem to have forgotten the theological and ethical reponsibilities of owning land.

Building 200,000 new homes ​​in 14 new villages in an unreformed UK housing market will guarantee more and ever bigger housing crises. Recycling such announcements does not address the immediate crisis. 

Building genuinely affordable housing to rent by councils, social and private landlords has to happen quickly but even then it will take too long to address the immediate crisis.

The first emergency response now required from government is to freeze all rent increases, prior to reintroducing rent controls. That must include reversing the housing benefits cuts in the bedroom tax, the benefit cap and the local housing allowance. Housing benefit cuts increase the rents of the poorest households.

The second emergency response must be to tax all unused land, like the 600,000 unused plots of land owned by the big builders. Land cannot be parked in an overseas tax-free bank. 

The lack of a coherent national housing policy for half the UK population who live in rented accommodation has produced this housing crisis.  Sound the alarm at your MPs constituency surgery with as many bells as possible.