www.mainstream.org.uk
Housing Policy

 

OUTLAW SPECULATION ON HOMES

Tory and Labour definition of a "healthy" housing market:  "prices keep rising - foreign investment pours in".

Mainstream's definition of a healthy housing market:  "our families on average incomes can afford to buy a house"  

All houses and flats to be family homes - NOT a casino for rich people to make their money grow

The Tories (and the other establishment parties) tell us that when our homes increase in value , this is 'good for us'. That we're 'richer'. No we're NOT! We can only use this value as money, by giving up the house; and if we're on a mortgage, then the house is effectively owned by the bank anyway, not by us.

As house prices have shot up - and there is no way to save money in banks any more - people desperate for their savings not to DROP in value, have bought up hundreds of thousands of domestic properties - not to LIVE IN - but as an 'investment' - knowing that their value keeps shooting up, year after year. But it's not just our own people. Overseas 'investors' - rich individuals as well as property companies - have also bought up hundreds of thousands of our houses and flats. They can see that we are a small island with limited space; in the middle of a huge surge in population caused by inward migration. These are people who already have big bags of money - by getting hold of one of our houses, to sell again after a year - they make their big pot of money, grow into an even bigger pot of money - without doing any work! That's why it's called speculation and it's disgusting. The Tory government actually WELCOMES these buyers! They call it 'Inward Investment' - and they welcome these rich foreign speculators with open arms!

A Mainstream government would OUTLAW this type of 'investment' or 'speculation' to give it its correct name. We would take actions to force house prices to come tumbling down. This would not harm owner-occupiers - as long as they stay put, or just move to another house. Their old house has dropped in value - but so has the new house they are moving into. The only 'losers' would be those selling and leaving the housing market altogether - eg, to move abroad. They would get less than they expected for their house - but almost certainly, it would be more than they paid for it; so they couldn't complain. A big fall in house prices would force the speculators to sell, before they got their fingers burned. New, tough, proactive legislation would transform our housing market, causing a rise in owner-occupation and a fall in rentals (apart from council houses):


END “RIGHT TO BUY”   COUNCIL HOUSES  

   Council Houses are a precious resource, paid for by local taxpayers. A previous tory government legalised tenants to buy their council houses off the local council, so they would then own their own house. The houses were sold at far below the market rates, so many people bought and then just re-sold them at a big profit. It was literally helicopter money. This has led to a big shortage of council houses now in most areas of the country.   MAINSTREAM would end totally, the so-called "right" to buy council houses. If council tenants felt they needed to own their own home, and earned sufficient money to pay for a mortgage - they could do the same as they always used to do - buy a house on the private market, then move out and leave their former council house for a more needy family.  Also Local authorities would be entitled to TAKE BACK at the original price, any home which was previously in their social housing stock, which is now either empty or subject to a re-possession order.


REPLACE COUNCIL TAX BY RATES

Before the Thatcher government brought in the Poll Tax - which then became the present Council Tax - we had 'Rates' as the way local councils raised their money. This is a brilliantly simple system because the amount of local tax you pay, depends just on the size of your home - not on the value. The (fair) assumption is made that if you live in a larger house - then you are better off. Council Tax is an idiotic system because the 'bands' which determine how much you pay, go by the value of the house or flat. But the value is completely different in different parts of the country; and also, house prices keep on rising. Councils have to constantly do re-valuations on all their houses.

MAINSTREAM  would abolish Council Tax and go back to the Rates system.  This sets the householder's payments based NOT on the house value , but only on the house SIZE.  This is much more sensible as the value of a house varies over time, and also in different parts of Britain - eg, a house in London is worth far more than a house in Newcastle or Lincoln.  The size of a house hardly ever changes. With Rates, you don't ever need revaluations; the  ten bands would be the same all over the country:  One-bedroom  Flat, Two-bedroom Flat, Three-bedroom flat; Two-bedroom house, three-bedroom house,  Four-bedroom house; Five or more bedroom house; Large Detached House;  Mansion, and Palace.   Rates would be paid as one payment per home, not per person occupying the home; which would encourage house-sharing.