Housing: facing up to an intergenerational challenge

Paul Lusk


This pre-election 2015 paper from Ekklesia sets out in brief the scale of the housing crisis in Britain today, its impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, and the fundamental imbalances of wealth and distribution that characterise the current homes market. We suggest that re-investing in the social and mutual housing sectors for a broad socioeconomic swathe of the population – rather than creating ghettos of need – is critical to a fresh approach. As a modest contribution to the range of multi-layered policies that will be required to fix the housing system for this and future generations, we focus on a specific proposal from Paul Lusk for an intergenerational housing cooperative, the case for which is mapped out in detail. We then go on to note the positive role churches can play in challenging the current negative approach to housing as a social good and investment, highlighting the need to move from approaches which target the excluded poor towards ones which challenge the processes and policies that produce exclusion itself.

"It is evident that fixing the housing system overall will require a large scale, multi-stranded programme: something that will involve dovetailing a number of different approaches, policies and partnerships. This needs to be a programme with the scale and vision of the Olympics. It can be done. By contrast, vague pledges from political parties to building between 200,000 and 250,000 homes a year will not succeed in addressing root problems, or alleviating the housing crisis faced by many, if a high proportion of these new homes remain unaffordable and wind up feeding a distorted market fuelled by speculation…"

Abstract (p1)
1. Why the housing system needs a radical rethink (p2)
2. A proposal for an intergenerational housing co-operative (p3)
(a) Where we are now (p3)
(b) Where we are going – need and opportunity (p4)
(c) Housing the Please Please Me generation: a co-operative approach (p5)
(d) Developing the right investment vehicle (p7)
3. Demonstrating good faith in housing (p7)
Author and contributors (p10)
About Ekklesia (p10)

* The full paper can be read and downloaded here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/sites/ekklesia.co.uk/files/intergenerational_h...