Yesterday Mr Cameron, as part of his Spending Review, announced a revitalised attempt at addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the UK.
Currently property developers must allocate a certain number of their properties as affordable via the council, or pay to be exempt. However David Cameron will look to relax these regulations and allow the developers to sell or rent these properties themselves, easing the process whilst maintaining the construction of affordable housing.
Although optimistic, I don’t see this as much more than an attempt by the Prime Minister to do two things.
First of all to put a stake in the ground, marking his intentions to remain PM for another five years.
Second of all, to hammer this stake home with the public, by announcing grand plans to tackle a housing issue, which no doubt in five years will still be headline news.
Forgive me for being pessimistic, but this isn’t an issue that has developed over night. The measly figures of just 141,000 homes built last year, is yet more evidence of the government’s failure to deliver on the promises they talk so much about.
However despite these alternative motives, I do believe Cameron has started to head in the right direction.
Making the construction of affordable houses a more attractive proposition by tackling the obstacles faced by developers and improving the process, can only be a positive step.
By allowing these developers to build affordable homes to sell or rent themselves, rather than having to rent them through the council or pay a ransom to waive the obligation, the incentive is there for them to start contributing to the solution head on.