How Liberals and Leftists Can Unite to Solve the Housing Crisis

Understanding Our Differences for a Common Plan

Those of us that want affordable housing have more that unites us than divides us

What are the main progressive traditions regarding housing?

To start, we need to establish who exactly are the these pro-affordable housing movements? To generalise there are essentially four main groups: YIMBYs and Georgists on the liberal side and the Old Left as well as Anti-Gentrification Activists on the leftist side. Each side cross-pollinates heavily among their two groups but rarely, if ever, with the other side — largely because of differences of underlying assumptions rather than merely policy preferences.

A Plan We Can All Get Behind

The following consists of a few proposals that address the approaches and value concerns each group holds, optimistically creating some kind of framework for a united front to combat the housing crisis. How that united front can manifest electorally depends on political circumstances between different cities and countries, but whether in countries with either majoritarian systems or multi-party coalitions, this general compromise should hopefully unite a greater number of progressives than before.

  1. Granting a liberalised zoning/planning regime contingent on a tax and public dividend on new private developments, including street-by-street votes on architecture style and cultural heritage.
  2. A state-driven housebuilding programme contingent on requirement that over 50% of state-built homes are for sale.
  3. A public dividend on sales of state-built homes contingent on a maintained and consistent supply of rapidly available public housing and ending of convertibility of public housing to private (such as ending Right to Buy in the UK).
  4. Levying of Location Value Tax contingent on a one to two-year cap on rents at pre-LVT levels (provided that the positive effects of LVT are subsequently proven).
  5. Massive investment in transport links between cities and neighbourhoods to allow greater freedom of choice and preservation of neighbourhood character.

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