This post is by Hugh Ellis, chief planner at the Town and Country Planning Association. It is taken from the collection of essays, published last week by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places. This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published this week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This essay has also been posted on Labour List.
It is clear that the housing crisis is having a desperate impact on British people’s lives. It is also clear that the next government will have to face an acute economic and environmental crisis. The current national response to these complex challenges won’t secure the lasting progress we need. Welfare benefit reform is driving a whole new set of housing needs and new patterns of migration, and it’s increasing inequality and social division. Our deregulated planning system with no strategic teeth is at a low ebb and the ideologies of nudge theory and neoliberalism, although practically ineffective, still dominate the zeitgeist. Read more