What do the main parties say about housing ahead of the UK General Election 2017?

What do the main parties say about housing ahead of the UK General Election 2017?

With the general election approaching on the 8th June 2017, we take a look at the manifestos to find out what the main parties are really saying about new homes, renting, first-time buyers and the homeless.  


New Homes

Labour

“Labour will build over a million new homes. By the end of the next Parliament, we will be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes per year for genuinely affordable rent or sale. 

“Labour will establish a new Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis and to ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few. Labour’s new housing ministry will be tasked with improving the number, standards and affordability of homes. We will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour’s housing delivery body, and give councils new powers to build the homes local communities need. We will prioritise brownfield sites and protect the green belt. We will start work on a new generation of New Towns to build the homes we need and avoid urban sprawl.

“We will prioritise brownfield sites and protect the green belt. We will start work on a new generation of New Towns to build the homes we need and avoid urban sprawl. We will make the building of new homes, including council homes, a priority through our National Transformation Fund, as part of a joined-up industrial and skills strategy that ensures a vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work. Labour will not only build more, we will build better. We will insulate more homes to help people manage the cost of energy bills, to reduce preventable winter deaths, and to meet our climate change targets. We will consult on new rules on minimum space standards to prevent ‘rabbit hutch’ properties and on new modern standards for building ‘zero carbon homes’.”

Conservative 

“We will fix the dysfunctional housing market so that housing is more affordable and people have the security they need to plan for the future. The key to this is to build enough homes to meet demand. That will slow the rise in housing costs so more ordinary, working families can afford to buy a home and bring the cost of renting down. And it will ensure that more private capital is invested in more productive investment, helping the economy to grow faster and more securely in future years. 

“We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. We will deliver the reforms proposed in our Housing White Paper to free up more land for new homes in the right places, speed up build-out by encouraging modern methods of construction and give councils powers to intervene where developers do not act on their planning permissions; and we will diversify who builds homes in this country.

“We will build better houses, to match the quality of those we have inherited from previous generations. It means maintaining the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It means not just concentrating development in the south-east but rebalancing housing growth across the country, in line with our modern industrial strategy. It means government building 160,000 houses on its own land.

“We will help councils to build, but only those councils who will build high-quality, sustainable and integrated communities. We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing.”




Liberal Democrat 

“The housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency. For far too long Britain has built many fewer homes than we need; unless we build enough to meet demand, year after year, we will find that housing costs rise further out of reach. That is why we have set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of housebuilding to 300,000 a year – almost double the current level. These new houses must be sustainably planned to ensure that excessive pressure is not placed on existing infrastructure. 

“We will: 

“Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to reach our housebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent. We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the parliament. 

“Create at least 10 new garden cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality, zero-carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport. 

“Set up a new government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with a remit including providing long-term capital for major new settlements and helping attract finance for major housebuilding projects.”


First-time buyers 

Labour 

“Labour will help first-time buyers to buy their first home. We will build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers. We will guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027 to give long-term certainty to first-time buyers and the housebuilding industry.”

Conservative

“We will continue to support those struggling to buy or rent a home, including those living in a home owned by a housing association.”

Liberal Democrat 

“House prices are high across the country – even where houses are available to buy, they are often unaffordable for first-time buyers. In many areas, the rental market has also become unaffordable. Young people, in particular, need support from the government to help them find and keep a home of their own.”




Renting

Labour 

“We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters.

“Labour will make new three-year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent rises. Given the particular pressures in London we will look at giving the Mayor the power to give renters in London additional security. We will legislate to ban letting agency fees for tenants. We will also empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights.”

Conservative

“We will continue to support those struggling to buy or rent a home, including those living in a home owned by a housing association.”

Liberal Democrat 

“We will help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years. We will improve renting by banning lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes. 

“We will help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30. We will promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes. Also, we will improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the database of rogue landlords and property agents.”


Homelessness

Labour 

“Homelessness is not inevitable in a country as decent and well off as ours. However, since 2010 the number of people sleeping rough in shop doorways and on park benches has more than doubled. 

“Labour will set out a new national plan to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, starting by making available 4,000 additional homes reserved for people with a history of rough sleeping. We will also take action to tackle the root causes of homelessness, including safeguarding homeless hostels and other supported housing from cuts to housing benefit.”

Conservative 

“We will continue to combat homelessness and rough sleeping including through full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our aim will be to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. To achieve this, we will set up a new homelessness reduction taskforce that will focus on prevention and affordable housing, and we will pilot a Housing First approach to tackle rough sleeping.”

Liberal Democrats 

“We will end the scandal of rough sleeping by increasing support for homelessness prevention and adequately funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing, while ensuring that all local authorities have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, entrenched homeless people.”


Full manifestos, including further information on housing: 

Conservatives - https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto 

Labour - https://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017 

Liberal democrat - https://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

6th Jun 2017

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