Former prime minister Tony Blair supports a land value tax to help solve the Western housing crisis.
A Tony Blair Institute for Global Change report says housing has become a source of economic anxiety, social resentment, and political frustration.
Blair’s policy unit says the solution to this includes community reinvestment programs based on a land value tax.
This would replace “outdated and discredited Council Tax”, the report says.
It also requires a sovereign property fund to expand public housing investment.
This would help local councils build new homes and refurbish old ones.
The former PM also wants to see rapid transit networks to accompany the new homes.
Finally, Blair is calling for a new social contract with rental sector tenants to extend the standard minimum tenancy to three years.
This would also limit rental inflation to the consumer price index over that time and provide stronger protections from eviction.
Blair says the Conservatives are too timid with housing policy, while Labour are regressive.
He says: “The report marks a departure in housing philosophy. Whilst we celebrate the virtues of home ownership, it is time to acknowledge that for many a flourishing rental sector is essential and housing needs are not always served by the focus on ownership to the exclusion of other forms of tenure.”
The report’s author, Institute research fellow David Adler says: “The cry for fundamental housing reform grows louder each day, as levels of homeownership reach record lows and evictions record highs.
“But Theresa May’s government — despite her “personal mission” to fix the broken housing market — shies away from any policy that might disturb the status quo, encouraging house price inflation that benefits the few, not the many.”
The report is called ‘Home Truths: A progressive vision of housing policy in the 21st century’.