The phrase ‘affordable housing’ has become the butt of jokes on topical game shows and the despair of political commentators. For families on a low or average income. ‘affording’ rent or a mortgage may well mean ‘saving’ on food, heat and other essentials. The problem has become so prevalent and apparently intractable that we are in danger of allowing it to become the accepted norm when it is in fact totally unacceptable.
How can we imagine a better 2027 if we can’t imagine everyone being able to live in decent housing at a cost that doesn’t compromise their wellbeing? Where is the answer? Our next speaker, McFarlane, will find it by turning the issue upside down: the real problem is not a roof over one’s head, but the land under one’sfeet.
Land economy may sound like a dry subject, but without understanding the economies of land – by its nature a strictly limited resource – we will never be able to envisage the possibility of a fair housing market or understand how to achieve it. Come to Imagine 2027 on 10 May and hear Laurie McFarlane, an expert in the critical but often neglected relationship between land and building explain how taking a fresh approach to the challenges of mounting inequality, financial instability, intergenerational conflict and stagnating productivity holds the key the unlocking a genuinely secure and affordable housing supply.