What does a ‘fixed’ housing system look like?
Dr Chris Foye gives an overview of the recent CaCHE seminar where we brought together a group of policymakers and practitioners and asked them to consider what their vision of a ‘fixed’ housing system looks like.
Although there is a consensus that the UK housing system is broken there is no agreement on what a ‘fixed’ housing system would look like and how we would get there.
In the prioritisation exercise that we undertook last summer, this issue kept on cropping up. Across the UK stakeholders felt that there was no clear consensus on what constituted a ‘fixed’ housing system.
In one sense, this was unsurprising. As David Clapham and I argued in the ‘Evaluating Housing Outcomes’ project, housing policy and practice is centred upon a number of faultlines where the values of different social groups conflict, the most important relating to house prices and rents: home-owners, landlords and rentier capital generally wanting them to rise, renters and productive capital more inclined to want them to fall. With these faultlines, it is extremely difficult, and probably impossible, for a society to unanimously agree upon a single unified housing vision.
All too often, however, the values and value-conflicts which underpin the housing system are plastered over, dealt with implicitly rather than explicitly (Allmendinger and Haughton, 2012). House price ‘growth’ is portrayed as an unambiguously good thing with all winners and no losers (Munro, 2018). Land value capture is portrayed as a technical problem, rather than an ethical issue about how much of the betterment value uplift should go to the landowner versus the ‘wider community’ (Clapham and Foye, 2019).
In this workshop, we wanted to go back to first principles. Through deliberating…