Roland McKinney advises Guildford Borough Council to build Social Housing – Not Speculate


Roland McKinney, a member of Effingham Residents Association, writes in the Guildford Dragon

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Recently elected to Effingham Residents Association executive committee Roland writes in response to an earlier article in the Guildford Dragon: Local Plan ‘Will Tackle Potential Housing Crisis’

Demand and supply is not the only reason for higher house prices – just look at the profit margins of house builders. The chairman of Berkeley Homes received the second highest pay package in the UK last year, with a benefits package of more than £22 million for the year.

According to The Telegraph, his company has the most generous incentive scheme ever put in place by a British company, with about £1 billion due to be disbursed to company executives if they meet their targets. All of this comes from house buyers, every penny, and house builders can rig the market in their favour by limiting the number of houses they build.

What is needed across the country, including Guildford, is a social housing programme, totally divorced from private builders, so that real affordable homes are provided. Left to its own devices the private sector will always do what it is best at – maximise its margins.

Guildford Borough Council could set an example and use money they have borrowed to fund a large social housing programme on land they own, but they’d rather play the speculation game, instead of doing what is best for their less well off residents.”

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