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Sunday, 5 May 2013

How many?

Tyrone Homes (Labour Party) is "sick of people politicking a scaremongering about the housing figures"

He insists that building lots of new houses are absolutely necessary in order to solve the issues of affordability and availablity of housing for people in Cornwall.

He is adamant that a 'shortage' of houses is the reason that prices are so high and insists that building lots of houses is the only way to get the prices down.

This is of course a line that many of the 'concrete over Cornwall' brigade take.

Given the massive number of houses that have been built in Cornwall over the past fifty years and that we still have a worsening situation for local people, can anyone who subscribes to the 'build lots of houses to reduce the price' theory answer this simple question:

"What do you think is an affordable price for a house, how many houses do you believe that we would need to build in order to reduce the average price to this price and what evidence do you have to support that theory?"

Any answers on the back of a postcard?


  1. Actually I'm not a member of the Labour Party nor did I campaign for the Labour Party in either of the two last Local Elections fought in my area.

    Your grasp of facts is almost as good as your grasp of the workings of the housing market and how has worked for the last few decades.

    I posted the ACTUAL housing figures for my area based on the proposed 42,500 target set out in the plan recently issued for consultation and simply said that based on my experience as a Local Councillor and in my opinion, that it was not enough to meet local need. That being the case the lower top down target you want to dictate to us will have an even more significant effect on meeting actual need.

    I won't bother to reiterate my arguments because you've linked to them and people can decide about what i said for themselves. In fact I urge people to look at the proposed figures for their own areas in the local plan and decide for themselves if what is proposed is correct. I'm all for informed debate...


  2. So still no answer to what should be a very simple thing to address if you believe that building lots of houses will help to house our local community?

  3. What I actually said was that using the 42,500 target and looking at what that meant to my area (approx 10 new permissions per year for our Parish + 2 other Parishes) I didn't believe that this was enough to meet LOCAL need.

    I also said that I believe that an unintended consequence of severely reducing the numbers of housing below historic demand would have the effect increasing the market price for houses sold on the open market and had you (or those advising you) done any modelling to see what the effect of your 29K target would have on prices? Simply dismissing the 'current market' as flawed is not a complete answer. As I live in the real world I’m not able to accept that the current model can be changed so easily or indeed just for here as our local market is subject to external influences outside our council’s control - just like every other area of the country.

    This is especially true as you don't accompany your proposed housing target with a policy platform which tackles the issues which create demand or mitigate the effect of building far fewer houses than historically been in demand. As you know full well affordability of housing is about far more than the numbers of houses built but it is one a significant factor.

    I'm neither a statistician nor an economist and i don't pretend that i can dictate the correct housing level for the whole of Cornwall. What i do know is that your target will not work for my area when I’m already struggling to see how a higher figure will do so. I don't have the data for YOUR area...i was talking about mine but unlike you i don't try and dictate a top down target. My premise was always that people should go off and check their own figures in the local plan and decide for themselves what the correct level should be based on their local knowledge rather than just simply accepting your 29K (or the 42,500 or any other proposed level) at face value. I don’t see how you can argue against that.

    I have however i have worked with statisticians and economists so I know enough to know when I’m having the wool pulled over my eyes. I'd be willing to accept your lower figure if you could assure me my, by showing me your analysis, that you have taken into account the impact of your policy and had evidence based policies to 'change' the market you are so dismissive of.

  4. Take it how you will...you never reply to my questions. At least i'm honest enough to say i don't have the answer and I'm not the one trying to convince others that i have the answer. I was just pointing out what the figures meant here.

    If you want people to agree with your lower target, you have to show your 'workings' so people can be assured they are not agreeing with something that may well cause harm in the long term.

    I take it that because you (an the others that share and promote the same total) can't provide me and others with the information asked for you simply have done an assessment of what your policy will do to actual house prices in Cornwall.

  5. So that's it then.

    We are told that demand for houses is high and so prices are high.

    We are told that we need to build more houses in order to reduce the price to an affordable level.

    Yet no-one who tells us this can then tell us what they think an 'affordable' price is nor how many houses would need to be built in order to secure this level of afforadability.

    Simply building lots of open market houses (even with a few 'affordables' thrown in) will not address the local need in Cornwall - even in your own locality Tyrone.

    Even if your estimates of local need were correct, how do you justify building hundreds or thousands of houses that will still not solve the problem for local people?


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