Letter on housing policy is a fairy fale

Thursday 14th April 2022 10:44 pm
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Editor,

I read Mr Patrick Lonsdale’s Turn old farm buildings into affordable homes (Letters, Cambrian News, 31 March) with interest. My only real disappointment was the letter didn’t begin ‘once upon a time’ and end ‘and they all lived happily ever after’.

Mr Lonsdale makes a fair point when he says that new proposals (he doesn’t specify which) may force landlords to sell up. Presumably due to extra regulations causing them extra expense as they are more forcefully obliged to make living conditions for tenants better. My own take is that for some landlords, the thought of having to sell their cash cows for market value would be too bitter a pill to swallow.

Mr Lonsdale then proposes that affordable houses be built by converting disused farm buildings at the farm owner’s expense.

This is perfectly sensible if you are a young couple yearning to live in a farmyard (nothing against farmyards, but possibly not everyone’s first choice location ) and if there is sufficient in the way of drainage, mains services and access which would need to cope with the influx of new residents.

In Mr Lonsdale’s vision of the future, ‘occupiers’ (not owners’) would own 50 per cent of the property and he envisages a situation where, over time they would wish to start a family and wage increases would allow them to buy the other 50 per cent.

This vision was a real cause of concern to me as the current economic climate sees many young families living hand to mouth and paying rents often above the cost of a mortgage payment, and all for something they will never own. All the while rises in the cost of living are outstripping wage increases.

Mr Lonsdale, you are obviously genuinely concerned about the current situation, in Ceredigion and nationwide, regarding the housing crisis for first time buyers but sincerely I feel your proposal requires a little more thought.

George Holloway, Aberystwyth

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