Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/551/6469
House building hits new low
ACCORDING TO the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), the rate at which new homes are being built by the private sector has fallen to a new record low. This has pushed the government's promise of building two million new homes by 2016 even more wildly off course.
60% more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in private sector construction workloads over the past two quarters. Surveyors' workloads are falling at their fastest pace since Rics started carrying out statistical studies 14 years ago.
66,220 homes were built in the first three quarters of 2008 and now with the finance crisis hitting bank activity, this is extremely unlikely to improve in the short term.
New Labour has entrusted the private sector with implementing its aim of solving the problem of the shortage of affordable homes. This will fail. A large-scale programme of public-sector housing is now much needed.
With more council housing and an end to the privatisation of council estates, decent family homes could be built and made available at affordable rents, with secure tenancies.
In The Socialist 8 October 2008:
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