General Election Housing Policy: What exactly are the major political parties pledging?

The election campaign is well and truly under way, so what housing policies have the major political parties announced?

 conservatives  labour  images  ukip  green party
Housing Tag line: “Buying a house shouldn’t be an impossible dream” “Under a Labour Government housing will be a top priority” “Providing the opportunities for everybody that a home gives” “UKIP recognises that a house needs to be built every seven minutes.” “Providing secure, comfortable and affordable places to live”
Annual Housebuilding Target 100,000 200,000 300,000 100,000 LA’s to determine
Affordable Homes Target 275,000 by 2020 500,000 social/affordable housing by 2020
Other Housing Targets

200,000 homes at 20% discounts for FTB’s under 40 (waiver for affordable homes). Max £250k outside London, £450,000 in London.

Create a £1 billion brownfield fund to unlock sites for 400,000 homes

Double the number of FTB’s

More shared ownership and rent to buy.

New housing direct from the government

10 new garden cities

Protect the greenbelt by prioritising brownfield sites for development

1 million brownfield homes by 2025 (included in annual housebuilding target).

Prioritise social housing for people with local connections

 Bring 350,000 empty homes back into use
Stamp Duty Fixed between 0 and 4% for houses worth less than£937,500 3 year, first-time buyer exemption from paying stamp duty on homes below £300,000 Remove stamp duty on the first £250,000 of homes built on previously developed land Phase out stamp duty and consider Land Value Tax
Help to Buy

Equity loan extended until 2020.

ISA’s adding 25% of the amount saved up to £3000

30,000 rent to own homes so young people can buy a home without a deosit

FTB to get priority access to new homes in areas of housing growth

Review scheme. Non-British nationals will not be able to apply End scheme
Right to Buy Extending right-to-buy to the 1.3m families who rent from housing associations. Mr Cameron would force associations to sell, but the government would pay for the discount. Non-British nationals will not be able to apply To abolish
Right to Build LA’s to allocate land to local people to build or commission their own homes
Mortgages BofE to limit the size of mortgages in relation to property value and applicant income
Rent Cap No 3 year tenancies with a ceiling on  rent increase, although tenants still able to give notice when they want No

Initially cap rent rises to inflation.

Living Rent Commission to examine proposals

Private Rental Sector

Delivery of 10,000 new homes below market rent.

Landlord immigration checks rolled out.

No letting agents fees for tenants.

Introduction of national register for landlords.

Help to rent scheme – young working people can borrow £1,500 (£2,000 in London) from the government towards their deposit.

Ban landlords from letting out poorly insulated homes

Encourage more landlords to rent to tenants on housing benefits.

No letting agents fees for tenants.

Compulsory licencing for all landlords.



Tenancy length Support voluntary model tenancy agreements Three-year tenancies the norm New 3-10 year AST’s 5 years with the tenant right to renew unless landlord moving in or selling
Right to Rent Home owners unable to meet mortgage payments and under threat of repossession could transfer ownership to the council and pay as tenants.
Bedroom Tax To abolish
Mansion Tax No Yes Yes No Would support but prefer Land Value Tax
New Council Tax Bands No No Higher rates for expensive homes
Council Tax Council tax doubled on homes that are empty for more than two years (with the exception of those who are in the Armed forces)
Empty Homes Continue current practice

Double council tax charges on properties empty for more than a year.

Council tax waiver for laandlords bring emty homes back into use.

More powers to councils for punitive tax levels on empty homes
Planning Continue current practice and roll out neighbourhood plan

Speed up planning for schemes smaller than 10 units

LA’s touse land as equity rather than selling

LA’s must identify 15 years’ housing supply

Cut cost of applications by merging planning and building control

Planning permissions for large scale development to be overturned by a referendum that collects more than 5% of electorate signatures within 3 months.

Narrow the powers of the planning inspectorate.

Councils to be more proactive

Leaders point of view David Cameron said: “Labour’s top-down housing targets built nothing but resentment… But we are working with councils and house builders to get Britain building.
We also have a Government-backed affordable housing programme which will deliver 275,000 new affordable homes in the next Parliament, bringing in the public and private investment we need to have more new affordable homes in this country.”
Ed Miliband has said: “Renters need more stability, because at the moment rents can jump massively from one year to the next. To combat this we will introduce three-year tenancies with a ceiling on excessive rent increases, though tenants will still be able to give notice when they want. We will also ban the letting fees charged by agents to tenants – up to £500 every time someone moves. To us, that just looks like a rip-off.” Nick Clegg has said: “We have set an ambitious target of building 300,000 more homes a year by the end of the next parliament – because the way to make sure homes are affordable is to build the homes we need now, and also deal with the historic failure to keep up with demand.” Nigel Farage has said that increased demand for housing as a result of “open-door immigration” has directly contributed towards the housing crisis. Natalie Bennett has said: “We need to move away from thinking of homes primarily as financial assets and go back to thinking they are safe places for people to live.”








1 Comment
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