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The Guardian - ​Britain’s broken housing market needs radical solutions

There is no political will to deal with the UK’s housing problems, says Michael Miller. Developers are not part of the solution but part of the problem, writes Keith Howells. Plus letters from Jeremy Beecham, John Rigby, Martin Jeffree and David Simpson

As your report points out, this housing crisis has been obvious for some time, is getting worse and has been largely caused by deliberate political decisions (‘Ordinary’ working families are falling into homelessness trap, 15 December). But many steps could be taken to increase the supply of affordable housing. Here are some: reduce or remove the right-to-buy discount for council houses, increase the term before they can be sold on, and sell them with covenants that prevent their being sold as buy-to-let properties; proceeds of council house sales should go back to councils, which should be allowed to borrow to build replacements; do not introduce right to buy for housing association stock (it damages their economic viability); insist that all privately rented housing is licensed and inspected for habitation fitness; lengthen the term of ensured tenancy; introduce rent controls; more controversially, capital gains higher than a certain percentage on house sales could be taxed and the proceeds used to fund social housing.

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