Land to the people

In Cuba, there is a compulsory hitch hiking system. Workers in full yellow attire stand at the corners of the main roads stopping all vehicles and 'requesting' the drivers take some hitch hikers. Having been made/asked to take local towards Havana we got talking about life. They explained that they have a little bit of land and were working to build an extension to their home. They built what would might be described as a shed first and over the years gradually improved upon it. It got me thinking. In this poor nation, they have at least a small stake in their land.

In the UK, we have millions paying off massive mortgages. We have lots consuming a huge portion of their income on rents. Too many do not have a stake in the country. How many hours do we work to simply pay for a place to live. The price of houses do not reflect the cost of constructing them.

In the chapter "Small Islands" there is a reference to the idea of giving each person a plot of land on which they can build their house. This is not about endless handouts, instead it is about making provision for people to get a foothold in life. It is no free ride. People will still work to pay for the building of their home. Hopefully it would begin to address some of the iniquities between the wealthier older people and the young.

Eligibility

It would be open to those on their 18th birthday who were born in the country to parents that were both also born here too. We look after our own. We look after our family, we spend money educating them and nobody looks down on those that support people close to them. If the scheme is too broad people become niggled by the excessive generosity shown towards those that have not been a longstanding part of the nation.

Cost

1 acre of Land is available for around 10 000 - enough for 8 plots, thereabouts.

1 plot would cost less than 2000 - about the same as 3-4 months of housing benefit.

It is a one-off gift. Only land with outline planning permission to build a property.

Practicalities

I can image that we would be able to conjure up countless obstacles to dismiss the idea. The most obvious issue would be in relation the lack of space in big cities. Nevertheless, most problems would be overcome if there is enough will to do it. Some building may have to be vertical, namely flats on the outskirts rather than spaced out plots in the countryside.

I doubt the uptake will be 100% nor will all the people given the land be jumping for joy, but a good few will take advantage and lead the way. The upward pressure on high property prices will be lessened. Some might suggest we give people a house, fully built, but this would be detrimental rather than fairer. These new adults will have a task to do in getting their house erected and won't be spoon fed a quick solution.

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