Theresa May your Rev Father should have taught you land exists to provide shelter food water fuel & clothes for all.

22 April 2017

Theresa May your Reverend Father should have taught you that land exists to provide shelter food water fuel and clothes for all.

There is an unjust, economically and socially divisive system of land ownership in this country.

We asked four housing professionals to describe the UK housing market and propose remedies. The index is here.

The system of land ownership in the UK is unjust because, as your Father should have taught you, land is gratuitously provided by a generous and loving God; it exists to provide shelter, food, water, fuel and clothes for all.  But that principle is corrupted on a daily basis by UK governments allowing, even encouraging, the national and international rich and powerful to grab land for private gain at the expense of the common good.

Professor Danny Dorling.  Well regulated private renting is a social good; without rent regulation it is a social evil.  Landlords have been encouraged to buy up more and more properties that were once social housing or lived in by a family who had bought the property with a mortgage.In 1988 housing rent controls were abolished and now inequalities & poverty get bigger & bigger. Money has flooded the UK housing market on short supply forcing up rents and prcies. There are 600,000 plots of unused land owned by the four big buikders. Harold Macmillan built many council houses.  Provision of housing a moral issue like provision of food, fuel & water. 

Stephen Hill MRICS 7 Churchill Fellow. "MOTHER OF ALL MONOPOLIES” was the moral question raised about land by Winston Churchill in 1909.  Today's question is "who has power?" . Government policy is at its worst when regeneration is introduced by local authorities. Viability assessments are then fixed to ensure the fewest possible affordable homes are built while land owners make the highest possible profits by selling homes to national and international property speculators, who leave the them empty. This  socially destructive policy has been gaining ground since 1979.  When public policy and the market fail to do what is needed, we need to make visible new ways for land to be priced, owned and used in the public interest like Community Land Trusts. 

 Fred Harrison, Land Research Trust. Incentives for wealthy to speculate in UK land run riot over nations needs .As value of land increases landowners become wealthier without working for it; so the burden of taxation falls on the  pay of hard working people who are milked to enrich land owners. The economy would be more secure with annual ground rent split between national and local government at a small percentage of land value. It would bring unused land and empty property into use and land cannot be transfered to an overseas bank tax free.

Alison Gelder - Director Housing Justice. An affordable houisng agenda for the Churches. Each Church should do everything we can to create more housing which is within the means of people on low incomes. The churches need to change their approach to decisions about how church land should be used. Housing Justice has already secured clear guidance form the Charity Commission that gives churches permission to adopt a policy that means all land and buildings being considered for disposal will also be looked at as a potential site for new social housing. Finally, all of us, individuals and institutions, need to use our voices to make sure our elected representatives and their officers know that we believe that we have a collective responsibility as a society to provide everyone with a home that truly meets their needs. 

Taxpayers Against Poverty Is promoting; 

  1. The introduction of annual ground rent on all land alongside the abolition of councii tax, business rates and stamp duty. 
  2. The reintroduction of rent controls
  3. The linking of affordable rents to income instead of the market. 
  4. Community Land Trusts