The more we learn about the housing crisis, the more clearly it is caused by badly-written laws. They could and should be a lot better.
It's easy to protect precious parts of the countryside and build many more beautiful, decent homes that are truly affordable, with the support of local people, while making our cities more walkable, attractive and liveable.
There is a profession that's supposed to be expert at writing rules well so that society works better.
What happened to the lawyers?
English lawyers normally don't learn about land use regulation. They have to learn lots of complicated rules that are mainly important for conveyancing. But the system that has impaired the economy by 30%? Rarely gets mentioned in law schools.
They also don't often study economics, or any other science.
US lawyers do — which is why people like Professors Lee Anne Fennell at the University of Chicago, David Schleicher at Yale and Michael Heller at Columbia University are making huge strides with the problems caused by badly-written laws on land use, and how to fix them.
Our challenge to English lawyers: how about some decent work on land use law over here? It's the opportunity of a lifetime.