Haven't you just invented council housing? [link added] Or do you not have that in the US? I think the big problem is that councils and their builders have no incentive to build houses that people want to live in. It's true they have democratic accountability, but most voters have no such incentive either, since most of them all ready have houses.The closest we have in the US are Section 8 housing — where the federal government subsidizes rent for low-income people — and federally funded welfare (subsidized rent) housing projects.
It is clear that any serious and detailed proposal regarding socialized housing should look carefully and deeply into the lessons learned from UK council housing. Given that Wikipedia asserts that council housing accounts for 20% of all housing in the UK, I think it's fair to say the effort has not been a complete failure.
Still, the point Robert raises is important: There needs to be some impetus for building new housing, especially since in my original proposal residents — because they can buy and sell tenancy — have an individual incentive for keeping housing scarce. This incentive, however, is much weaker than in the present system; the value of a one-time occupancy transfer is considerably less than the full market value of a house or the expectation of profit from an endlessly rising
It might simply be the case that other local political pressures, especially businesses who have to pay (in salaries) for occupancy rights, will be sufficient impetus for new construction.
If local pressures doesn't work, there are several alternatives. Local governments can tax paid occupancy transfers, and this tax can be applied exclusively to new housing; if insufficient, the new housing rent add-on can be made proportional to collections. Another possibility is to simply mandate new housing at a higher level, (i.e. state or federal).
Black Sun raises several objections:
Such a public ownership scheme may sound good in theory, but in practice will always fall prey to corruption and mismanagement.This is a very puzzling objection; skeptics typically do not make such blanket pronouncements about what is or is not feasible in practice without considerable specific empirical evidence.
Furthermore, the idea of the plan is not to eliminate "corruption" and mismanagement, but simply to reduce it. It's not like we can point to capitalist management of housing as a paragon of excellent management; current events show capitalist mismanagement to have globally catastrophic consequences. And simply institutionalizing corruption and calling it "profit" does nothing but sweep the problem under the rug.
People will find a way to trade on the "value" of their residence whether you call it a "title" to the property or "right to occupy."But of course. My plan explicitly permits trade in occupancy: "Residents may buy and sell the right of tenancy, but only when tenancy is directly and voluntarily transferred; the right of tenancy cannot act to secure any financial obligation."
As Robert notes, this plan still gives residents an individual incentive to maintain housing scarcity, but we can resolve this issue in any number of ways. Additionally, since tenancy cannot be used to secure any financial obligation, credit markets are insulated from even large fluctuations in tenancy transfer markets.
Think private-sector malfeasance is bad? Just look at the dismal track record of nationalized housing in the countries where it's been tried. You end up with a bunch of decaying homes and concrete-block tenements.This is simply a lie, trivially disproven by the immediately preceding comment.
I stop rebutting a comment at the first blatant lie.
Black Sun's comment, though, indicates a larger problem with the advocacy of communism and socialism. Just as with the advocacy of atheism and evolution, opponents of socialism have no compunction against simply contradicting known facts, and making up new facts out of whole cloth. Just this pervasive tendency should give thoughtful, critical thinkers pause, and impel them to dig deeper and not accept popular dogma.