Your letter writers on the housing shortage (5 September) neglect a key point – under-occupation of the existing stock. I sympathise with the nimbys’ desire to keep the green belt from urban sprawl, but this can only be done if they are prepared to occupy less space when occasion demands (ie in later life). Only a reset of the council tax bands, punitively progressive at the top end to discourage oligarchs and investment buyers, will have the desired effect, along with stronger compulsory purchase order powers for councils.
• It will take years to heal the personal losses sustained in the Grenfell tragedy (Report, 4 September). There are many tower blocks clad in combustible materials, which will need to be replaced. Solartricity is installing solar panels on social housing and other blocks to save tenants about £250 a year on their power bills. Perhaps Grenfell and other tower blocks could be reclad with solar PV panels to help offset the cost of rectification, and bring permanent benefits to residents?
Professor LJS Lesley
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