Election Day Recap: what do the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties say on housing?
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Still undecided? Here’s everything the three major manifestos have to say about housing
Today the nation goes once again to the polls to decide on who will sit at the negotiating table in Brussels and which way the nation’s social policy, economic priorities and future on the world stage will swing.
Each of the three main parties had something to say on the housing crisis, so if it’s housing that’s top of your list of concerns in Camden, look nowhere else for a rundown of the major policies Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron are proposing for their respective parties.
The Conservative Party pledges to “fix the broken housing market.”
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Labour promises “secure homes for all.”
The Liberal Democrats will focus on “building more and better homes.”
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The Conservative Party pledges to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020, and 500,000 more by 2022. 160,000 houses will be built on government land.
Labour pledges 100,000 council and housing association homes every year by the end of the next Parliament for “genuinely affordable” rent and sale. Homes will be delivered through the establishment of a new Department for Housing.
The Lib Dem Party pledges to build 300,000 new homes by 2022 through a commissioning programme.
First time buyers
Labour will guarantee Help to Buy until 2027, alleging that the number of affordable homes to buy has fallen by two thirds under the current government, and will build thousands of homes for first time buyers.
The Liberal Democrats will introduce ‘Rent to Own’ to enable young people who cannot afford a deposit to buy a home for the same cost as renting, with payments building up equity over time giving renters a share of the home they are living in. Tenants would be able to convert their payments to full ownership after 30 years through the initiative. The scheme will receive £3 billion investment by 2022 funded through a new British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to build RTO homes. The Lib Dems also promise a Help to Rent scheme to provide tenancy deposit loans for first time renters under 30.
The Conservatives say that specialist housing for older people will be supported by helping housing associations to increase their stock and more private capital investment.
Labour’s manifesto assures help for bookend buyers, and will consult on local plans to take on older people’s housing
The Conservative Party blames councils for “failing to build sustainable, integrated communities.”
Labour’s manifesto pledges to tackle poor standards, minimum space standards and ending the plethora of ‘rabit hutch homes’.
The Liberal Democrats will improve minimum standards in rented homes and promises to build energy efficient homes.
The Conservatives will crack down on unfair leasehold practices like escalating ground rents.
Labour has pledged to end the routine sale of leasehold tenancies in new build homes.
The Lib Dem manifesto makes no comment on leasehold.
Private rental sector
The Conservative manifesto promises to improve protections for retners such as looking at increasing security for good tenants and encouraging landlords to offer longer standard tenancies.
Labour will place an inflation cap on rent rises, will licence landlords and ban letting agents’ fees. Three year standard tenancies will be issued and new legal powers and Mayoral powers will ensure homes are fit to be lived in.
The Liberal Democrats would ban letting agent fees and cap up-front deposits. Minimum standards would be increased, landlords licenced and tenants given right of first refusal to buy their home if their landlord wants to sell. Three year tenancies will be promoted with inflation-linked annual rent increases.
The Conservative Party promises fixed term council homes to be sold privately after ten to fifteen years. First Right to Buy will go to tenants with land recycled into further homes. Compulsory purchase rules will be reformed to allow councils to build on pocket sites and derelict buildings. Ambitious councils and Housing Associations will be supported with low-cost funding.
Labour will suspend right to buy and councils will only be allowed to sell them off if they replace homes on a one to one basis. Long term council tenancies will also be reintroduced.
The Lib Dems will lift the borrowing cap on local authorities to allow Housing Associations to build more council homes and council housing will be protected by ending voluntary Right to Buy which sells them off.
The Conservatives will improve the monitoring of litter dropping in public, and fill in potholes to improve the quality of road surfaces.
The Labour Party will prioritise the local area and create a generation of New Towns on Brownfield sites to protect the green belt. Homes will be marketed to local people first.
The Liberal Democrats will market homes to locals first and Local Plans must have a 15 year span, with a Community Right of Appeal introduced for where planning decisions are taken in the face of the approved local plan.
The Conservatives pledge full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act to halve rough sleeping by the end of the next parliament and eliminate it by 2027. They will set up a new homelessness reduction taskforce and pilot a Housing First approach.
4,000 homes will be reserved for those with a history of homelessness by Labour, who will safeguard hostels and supported housing.
The Lib Dems will increase funding for homeless accommodation and local authorities would be forced to have at least one Housing First provider.
The Conservatives are sticking to their cut to housing benefit for single 18 to 21 year olds.
Cuts for 18 to 21 year olds will be reversed and the bedroom tax will be scrapped by the Labour Party.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to restore housing benefit for young people between 18 and 21.
Foreign Investment and Developers
The Conservatives pledge that councils will be given new powers to when developers sit on land with planning permission as per the Housing White Paper. They will appeal to a wider range of developers.
Labour says little on foreign investment but argues that “housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few.”
The Liberal Democrats promise that exemptions on smaller housing development schemes to provide affordable homes would be scrapped and local authorities given more powers to tackle developers who do not build after three years. Local authorities will be able to levy up to 200 per cent council tax on second homes and ‘buy to leave’ properties. House building on unwanted public sector land will be enforced.
The Conservative Party will plant one million trees in towns and cities to improve air quality.
The Labour Party promises to improve insulation in homes to meet climate change targets.
The Liberal Democrat Party has promised to build half a million affordable, energy efficient homes and ten new Garden Cities by the end of the next Parliament.