• Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: The Housing Shortage

Question: The housing shortage has become a serious problem. Some people think the only solution is government action. Do you agree or disagree?

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) It has been pointed out that the demand for accommodation, especially in big cities is going up at an alarming rate, and some believe that it is solely the government’s responsibility to tackle the problem. Although commercial investment may help to deal with this, I feel governments should play the most vital role thanks to their ability to control people and the market.

(Body 1) On the one hand, I strongly believe solutions such as controlling the birth rate and intervening in the housing market would have the biggest impact. The chief cause of housing scarcity is the growing overpopulation in urban areas, which authorities can manage through demographic measures such as limiting the number of children for every family. In this way, metropolitan areas would be less dense over time, weakening the thirst for houses. Moreover, given the rocketing house prices, governments should enact laws to counter market manipulation. For example, they can impose higher taxes on those possessing properties without habitation to keep real estate prices affordable, relieving this financial burden for potential tenants, especially those on minimum wage.

(Body 2) On the other hand, businesses working alongside governments can be tremendously effective. To illustrate, private companies, backed by governments via reduced tax liabilities, may choose to invest in new construction schemes in satellite cities. This would subsequently increase the availability of houses on the market and offer buyers more choices. Subsequently, workers themselves may opt to work in these new economic hubs instead of settling down in highly-populated neighbourhoods. By doing so, they can save more while still having a better standard of accommodation, which would in turn lead to a reduced demand for housing in downtown areas.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, combating housing shortages needs the engagement of different economic sectors, but plenty of evidence has suggested that the government’s actions to constrain population growth rate and implementing higher tax rates on empty properties are more significant. Authorities should wisely combine appropriate resolutions to benefit their citizens the most, particularly those surviving on a low-income. (333 words).

Words: Student essay, corrected & upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

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