Natalie Bennett, leader of the UK Green party, had a car-crash interview today as she attempted to explain the party’s housing policy to an unsympathetic radio host.
Their aim, she said, is to build 500,000 new homes at £60,000 apiece, but she seemed to have forgotten how these homes would be built, how they would pay for the land and in fact anything at all about the homes.
She told Nick Ferrari on LBC that the money would come from cancelling mortgage tax relief for Landlords, raising £2.7 billion.
How are you going to pay for the land? Ferrari asked repeatedly.
Here’s how Natalie: there is a national housing crisis, a national emergency, and special measures are called for.
They would, for starters, be Tiny Homes.
As long as the homes are not allowed to be resold at a profit by their new owners, and as long as they are eco-homes — not connected to the grid in any way, they can be seen as falling into a special category.
The land could be agricultural land, costing roughly £8,000 an acre, or as little as £500 per home.
Because the homes would also be smallholdings, where the residents could cultivate crops and livestock, there is a pre-existing legal category for these homes, known as agricultural tied.
Local councils would give planning permission for a change of use on the land from agricultural to residential only after the land had been secured by a specially created development company, to avoid speculators cashing in. The councils would benefit from an influx of ratepayers and employment opportunities.
Because they would collect their own water and generate their own energy, the homes would require very little infrastructure – only good road access and public transport.So the £60,000 figure is perfectly achievable.
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