Fatcat developers created our housing crisis. Here's how to stop them - Steel Detailing Services | Rebar Detailing Services | Steel Fabricators USA

Steel Detailing Services | Rebar Detailing Services | Steel Fabricators USA

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Fatcat developers created our housing crisis. Here's how to stop them

Housebuilders, armed with foreign cash and backed by top lobbyists, keep property prices high. But author Bob Colenutt has brilliantly exposed the grip they have on Britain If you want to see who influences the government, you can do worse than look at Whitehall’s neighbours. In a grand Victorian building opposite the House of Commons in Parliament Square stands the headquarters of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. With a history dating back to 1792, the RICS is an illustrious professional body, promoting the highest international standards in the valuation and development of land and property. But it has another side. Its royal charter states that it exists to serve the public interest, yet most of its members’ fees come from landowners and developers, not the public sector. Through its Red Book, the RICS sets the standards by which land and property are valued, but it is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the development industry, representing the interests of landowners and developers at the highest levels of government. It directly advised on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012, which led to 1,300 pages of policy being reduced to 65 in a triumphant bonfire of red tape, and it has numerous committees influencing policy on all aspects of land planning and valuation. It describes part of its mission as “unlocking the inherent value held within the world’s physical assets”, but the question is, for whom is the value being unlocked? And who, consequently, is missing out? In the eyes of Bob Colenutt, the answer is clear. In his urgent new book, The Property Lobby, he identifies the RICS as one of numerous actors in a complex network of landowners, housebuilders, financial backers, professional bodies and politicians who are engaged in propping up the status quo to ensure that their interests prosper – at the expense of everyone else. The housing crisis is no accident, he argues, but the calculated product of an elite group who have no reason to fix it. The Property Lobby: The Hidden Reality Behind the Housing Crisis by Bob Colenutt, is published by Policy Press. Continue reading...
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