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Housing zones welcome but more efforts needed

The latest new tool to boost housebuilding is to designate run-down areas around the country as housing zones, lift planning restrictions and offer sweeteners to boost infrastructure and hope this will kick-start more house building.

With housing demand still outstripping supply and the UK’s population growing, any initiative like this has to be welcome.

But as good an idea as they may be, housing zones are certainly no silver bullet.

This is especially true at the lowest-cost end of the market, where genuinely affordable housing in the South-east is becoming in ever short supply.

Crazy scenario

The present level of housing grant has led to the latest round being undersubscribed, creating a bit of bonkers situation where the mayor of London Boris Johnson can’t give money away.

It’s simply become unsustainable for housing associations to build genuinely low-cost homes for rent.

Yet housing lower-paid workers is essential for a global city with the ambitions of London.

We’re still waiting for a policy for that.

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