What should our housing principles be

A look at what people from different backgrounds think should guide our policies on housing. First published; November 27th 2015.

Over the past few weeks I've been talking to a range of people, some of whom are connected with housing through their work but most of whom aren't. The views have been wide ranging and there's been a lot of passion about the subject which we all know is big news each and every day. Without any particular science to it I've collated the ten principles that most people seemed to think matter. I wonder what Linked In readers think and, importantly, how the reality of our approach in the UK measures up? Here they are.

Ten Housing Principles

  • The most vulnerable in society should be protected at the lowest cost to the public purse that will assure decent quality housing and any necessary support and care.
  • Publicly funded systems of housing provision should always make work pay.
  • There should be no stigma attached to living in housing that attracts publicly funded support.
  • Housing and public subsidy systems should operate so that nobody who does not work gains an advantage over someone else who does (other than the provision of support to get into employment).
  • No-one should benefit from a greater public subsidy than they need or for a subsidy for longer than they need it.
  • Housing providers should be accountable to their residents for the quality of the homes and services they provide and the reasonableness of the charges they make for them.
  • People from every income band should be able to live in every area of the country, accepting that places may be limited in some and will need to be protected.
  • There should be realistic and achievable routes from rent into ownership and vice versa to enable people to cope with changes in financial and household circumstances.
  • Increased housing supply should be incentivised and public funding should only be available for new homes that would not otherwise be constructed.
  • There should be financially attractive opportunities for individual investors and savers to put their money into ethically sound projects for the delivery of new affordable housing.