We desperately need another Liverpool.
There’s nothing wrong with the one we’ve got, we just need another. Right now. We also need another every year for the next 25 years. That’s a lot of Liverpools.
But let’s start with why we need one.
There’s a housing crisis. It’s a fact. We need to build 250,000 houses every year, enough for 460,000 people. That’s basically the population of…you guessed it… Liverpool.
We don’t build anywhere near that and we’re not about to. Last time we did was 1979-80.
Even if we could build a new Liverpool every year, where would we put it? Wouldn’t it just be easier if we had a spare Liverpool lying around?
As it happens, we do.
England’s homeowners have 19 million empty rooms between them. If we can persuade just 2.5% to rent them out they’d house 475,000 people. That’s basically the population of…you guessed it… Liverpool.
We could do that right now, with a decent incentive.
And we’ve finally got one.
As of April 6th people can earn £7,500 a year tax-free by renting out a room. It doesn’t just apply to homeowners – tenants can do it too with their landlord’s permission. It took us six and a half years to convince Government but they finally did it. Sounds like a decent incentive doesn’t it?
It’s a proper win-win. Tenants benefit from increased supply of affordable rooms and homeowners get a tax break to encourage them to open their doors.
Now, has anyone got a spare Manchester knocking about?
You can find out more about the Rent a Room Scheme and how it works here.