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Letter to the Media- Labour rent controls - April 2015
As the election campaign nears it final week, I see that Ed Miliband,
the leader of the Labour Party, has chosen to revisit his earlier
suggestion of rent controls for the private sector.

Although that may be welcome news to tenants, it does nothing to
address the obvious cause of higher rents, that of a scarcity of

This country has not built a sustainable number of homes for decades,
and is struggling to even reach the pre-recession peak of 183000 news
starts. This is still far below the estimated 225000 new homes needed
annually just to keep pace with normal demand.

The Conservatives have proposed building 100000 affordable homes, a
target later doubled in size, but this is a one off plan, when what we
need is this number year on year almost indefinitely.

And simply selling off the countries housing association stock at a
discount without like for like replacement, as the Conservatives are
suggesting, will simply compound the scarcity of supply.

A new homes initiative which includes a concerted effort to return
900000 empty homes to the market would both provide affordable
accommodation, as well as provide a spur to economic activity and
employment at the economy struggles to maintain headway.

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