09 Dec Election this week!! – who will you vote for?
Day three of our summary of points from the main three parties regarding housing and it’s the turn of the Liberal Democrats. Once again, no major headline about housing in the manifesto but, as with the other parties, a recognition that more houses need to be built annually to help ensure that everyone has a home.
The Liberal Democrats seem to be most concerned about social housing and rough sleeping. They want to build 100,000 homes for social rent per year and ensure that the total figure for houses built is 300,000 annually. New homes, they say, will have a zero carbon standard and they will cut fuel bills via a ten year programme to reduce energy costs.
To help people to find and keep homes, the party will provide a ‘rent to own model’ for social housing meaning that rents will give a social tenant a stake in the property with full ownership being acquired in 30 years. They will also give Local Authorities the right to increase council tax by up to 500% for second homes and they will impose a stamp duty surcharge on overseas resident purchasers. The manifesto also pledges to devolve Right to Buy to local councils.
Once in social housing, the Liberal Democrats want to ensure that there are clearer standards for socially rented homes, that complaints are dealt with in ‘a timely manner’ and that regulations intended to protect social renters are proactively enforced.
The manifesto states that the Liberal Democrats will end rough sleeping in five years and they will repeal the Vagrancy Act so that rough sleeping is no longer a criminal act. Legislation is to be put in place to a) ensure that anyone providing asylum support report those at risk of homelessness to the Local Authority, b) introduce a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ legal duty so that emergency accommodation is available for all those at risk of homelessness along with an assessment of their needs and c) to ensure that there are longer tenancies available to tenants and that annual rent increases are restricted.
When it comes to the private Rented Sector the Liberal Democrats want to support tenants by introducing a new Help to Rent scheme which will provide government backed deposit loans for all first time renters aged under 30. They will also be promoting longer tenancies and restrict annual rent increases. They are also looking to introduce mandatory licensing to protect against rogue landlords as well as ‘fully recognise tenant panels’ to ensure that renters have a voice in local government.
Read the full manifesto for the Liberal Democrats here:-
So, over the past few days I have summarised the key points from each of the main three parties around housing and provided a link to their full manifesto…. Now it’s time to make a decision on which party to vote for….. Happy deliberating!
Emma Macgregor MARLA
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