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Housing worries make people sick

Letter from Herstmonceux, East Sussex

Why should young people spend most of their lives paying a mortgage or high rent just to keep the money people happy? Lawrence Keeley wants to know.

We have family breakdown, vandalism. Mental depression and a polluted environment often caused by a mortgage or high rents. A recent national survey asked people what they did on one day. The results showed that for most it had been a day of monotony. People woke up tired, spent all day at work, having travelled on full trains, or jammed up roads. Many were thinking about getting back home. When they got home, they had a meal, watched television and went to bed. One said “I am in debt, behind with the rent, spent the last few weeks hiding in the house, had a panic attack and felt suicidal, too scared to answer the phone or open the post”. Life should not be like that.

Developers turn up and say “we want to build here you try and stop us”. Well, let’s tell them to build what’s needed, and stop building what would appear to look like concentration camps.

Recent news headlines read:

We are told we must have continuous growth – but what are they meant to be growing? It would appear governments believe we must keep building houses to keep the system going – it mustn’t be allowed to stop.

Well, let’s stop it, and sort out the housing, pensions and care in one.

Now let’s look at the land, if you were to grow corn, you may get £500 per acre income less cost; if you rent it out one could receive £70 an acre from it; if you pay the rent and farm the land one may get £100 to £150 per acre, over costs, depends where it is and the type of land. But however you do it, there are not big bucks for anyone, so why should anyone get more for growing houses them growing corn?

Why sell the land? Rent it at £1,000 per acre per year, transfer it to a Land Community Trust; build the houses which need cost no more than £80,000 to £90,000 to build. Then allow people to buy them at cost, plus ground rent (£100 a year) but they can only sell them back to the trust, they in turn would sell them on at the same price as the present cost of building them. This could apply to all land that is possible development land. We should stop open market housing and build 2 million council houses under the plan I have just mentioned, then take housing benefit out of the private sector.

Public or private land could be rented at say £1000, per acre per year; this would be at least five times more than one would receive in profit if one was to farm the land which is its real purpose.

This would be real progress, but the government seem to think that growth is just to keep building houses at an ever increasing spiral. Why should young people spend most of their lives paying a mortgage or high rent just to keep the money people happy?

Instead there could be a pension plan for families to pay into once the home is paid for that could not be drawn on until one is 65, that capital could be passed on to other family member pension fund when the said person passes on, thus building for the next generation. We should be having a more flexible retiring age, not work to 70.

Affordable care homes could also be under the Community Land Trust scheme, the capital in the pension plan would hopefully pay the cost, and this scheme would pay its way without ripping off the family and would not pay out to shareholders or have over paid bosses. As the land would be rented and the building built to transfer the development to the Trust, not allowing a market to set the rate. This coupled with the withdrawal from the European Union would go a long way to save Great Britain.

May I invite you to visit my website for more insight to the issue of housing?

4 August 2011

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