There is ‘no place like home’ sighs Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. A sentiment with heightened meaning in Britain 2020. There is no book like Broken Homes either. Britain’s housing crisis is subject to caustic analysis from a journalist who used to work for a house builder, blended with the mordantly funny experiences of a senior government advisor now trying had to become a housebuilder.
• Broken Homes exposes the short-term, haphazard and partisan development of housing policy. How political misadventures have led to the housing crisis Britain faces today. Former Conservative and Labour housing ministers interviewed freely admit to a dysfunctional system presiding over ill-formed plans mainly pushed by partisan lobby groups.
• Broken Homes exposes the disregard by planners, designers and builders for those who occupy new homes. A world where homes are crammed to meet targets, where occupants are forced to fit rather than form the mould. Where the desire for decent-sized homes is being thwarted by rules encouraging matchbox estates. A world in which the role of a home changed forever in 2020 but where space standards are no higher than 100 years ago
• Broken Homes explodes the fallacy that building more homes will bring down prices. Or that improving the planning system will somehow make a difference. Instead, decent-sized decently-spaced homes must be demanded for a new generation of New Towns, and that Government must also face the fact they need to subsidise a major programme to build homes for those who will never be able to pay more than half the market rent.