Politics, they say, is the art of the possible. But the possible is not fixed. What we believe is possible depends on our knowledge and beliefs about the world. Ideas can change the world, and Green House is about challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in now, and offering positive alternatives.
The problems we face are systemic, and so the changes we need to make are complex and interconnected. Many of the critical analyses and policy prescriptions that will be part of the new paradigm are already out there. Our aim is to communicate them more clearly, and more widely.
On 17 July Green House published a new report which takes a radical and comprehensive approach to the UK's worsening housing problems.
Tackling our Housing Crisis: Why Building more Houses will not Solve the Problem
Everyone agrees housing is in crisis. This timely report from Green House challenges the conventional policy wisdom of ‘just build more homes.’ It argues that the most significant cause of the affordability problem is not shortage of supply but a high level of inequality combined with a dysfunctional financial system. Housing has become the preferred investment, rather than simply somewhere to live. Savings going into housing, and unsustainable mortgage lending have pushed up prices. Instead of relying on a huge and environmentally costly building programme, we should ensure that the existing housing stock is better used; control rents and increase security in the private rented sector; discourage the purchase of housing primarily as an investment; reduce regional inequalities; and provide more affordable homes.
Download 'Tackling our Housing Crisis' here. (pdf, 1244 K)
On 20 March Green House, together with the Green European Foundation and the Belgian think tank Oikos, held a panel debate and public discussion on 'Green growth or de-growth?Alternatives to Austerity in Europe' at Europe House in London, hosted by Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP. Speakers included experts from southern, eastern and western Europe talking about the differing challenges being mounted in their countries and regions to austerity policy and how the Green alternative to austerity fits into this broader political picture. You can read a short report on the event, or view the edited highlights of the whole event or individual presentations by the speakers, via the Green European Foundation website here. In a follow-up to this event, Green House coordinator Ray Cunningham argues in a new Green House 'Gas' that Greens should beware of the temptation to enter into political alliances based on opposition to austerity alone. As the elation surrounding Syriza's election victory in Greece threatens to turn into despair and further economic and social upheaval as it struggles to reconcile its popular mandate with Realpolitik and Realfinanz, this warning may be especially timely. Download Can Greens be part of a broad Anti-Austerity Front in Europe? (pdf, 340 K) here.
The event held in London on 20 March (see above) was part of Green House's 'Post-Growth Project', which has been the main focus of our work over the last two years. Molly Scott Cato has written an article on the project and the resulting book for the Green European Journal: see here.
You can also order this book, and order or download all of our Reports, Responses and Gases, from the Publications pages of this website, or find out who is involved on the Green House People page. Please also see who is supporting us on the page about our Advisory Group or check out our influences at Find Out More.
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Green House now has a video channel hosted by Vimeo featuring recordings of, or extracts from, various events Green House has organised or participated in. The channel is constantly growing so please make sure you get all the latest updates by clicking on 'follow'. You can access the channel here.