Housing – an artificial crisis?
Sir, – The housing debacle is an artificial crisis. The buying market is kept artificially inflated by a deliberate refusal to countenance even the possibility of a long-term rental culture, as exits in Germany, for example, and an ideological inability to admit that the private sector is an inefficient vehicle for the mass provision of affordable housing.
It is not the job of private developers to worry about homelessness; they exist primarily to make profits for their shareholders. They should neither be required nor expected to step into a breach left by a political class caught in a neoliberal vice. And the rental market is kept artificially stoked by this cynical refusal to reform the buying market.
There is nothing inevitable about any of this neoliberal housing mess. It is primarily a political choice; one that is colluded in by the most tolerant electorate in western Europe. – Yours, etc,