An alternative society

Let there be non-market housing where the Government transfers land to a Community Land Trust. It employs developers to sell houses from around 80 or 90 thousand and this property may only be sold back to the Trust allowing for modernization. Open market rents are artificially propped up by housing benefits. They should not be paid to private landlords but used to build or renovate affordable housing to buy or to rent. Some new estates are too compacted and high without individual open space. We don’t want a system where the higher rate is the going rate and people can’t get on the mortgage treadmill. Social rents should not be 80 per cent of market value. The right to buy should be stopped and lifetime tenancies offered so people can move when and where they want to.

Restricted tenancies would stay in place for anti social activists who can’t control themselves. Unemployment should be tackled on site with small industrial units making or inventing something sellable. There could be nearby area markets for these saleable goods and produce from allotments and farms. Red tape should be at a minimum and disease kept locally and long produce journeys should be avoided.Local people should decide on the volume of housing and the number of affordable needed, not councils.

Compulsory purchase orders must be issued in areas of excessive conflict or selfishness. This means keeping social housing for the locals and not migrants who should have hostels built for them as they do in some countries for seasonal work or long term mining. The landlord could be given £1k per acre as rent or sale. Brownfield sites should be renovated and used first and flood plains should be drained first. The tidal bore of the Severn should be used for electricity and other dams built for falling water and leisure lakes. Young people should be apprenticed earlier or employed or in training for sport, entertainment, catering, food gathering. It is mentally and physically unhelpful not to be active. Consider flexible retirement, ie three day weeks, as most people are on job share now. A pension plan kicks in once the house or flat have been paid for. Longer accommodation will be built for large families or to create extended accommodation for singles and the retired. The infirm will have inspected care dwellings with facility needs around them in every borough and village. Property would not be bought and sold on its profit potential. The pension pot paid into as a mortgage would be used for hostel or extended family care and care homes for just the old a thing of the past. (Acknowledgement to L Keeley: It could have been so different 2013).

Roslyn Ings