08 Dec Who will you vote for on Thursday?
So, yesterday we looked at the Conservative’s manifesto in relation to housing. Although there is still no major headline in the manifesto regarding housing, the language used is far more emotive than in the Conservative’s manifesto. Labour states that ‘everyone has the right to a decent, secure home’ and they feel that ‘people are being denied their right to a good home by our housing system that treats homes as financial assets rather than places to live.’ It is clear that Labour are seeking to dramatically change the housing market – in fact they state that ‘only Labour has a plan to fix the housing crisis’. So, once you get through the emotive bit what are they actually pledging?
- Create a new Department for Housing and make Homes England a more accountable national housing agency
- Set up a new English Sovereign Land Trust giving powers to buy land more cheaply for low cost housing
- Impose ‘use it or lose it’ taxes on developers who have stalled housing developments
- Impose tough new zero carbon standard and upgrade existing homes to make them more efficient.
Like the Conservatives, labour feel that more houses need to be built but in particular more social housing. They pledge to build (yes, they have used the word build) more than a million houses over a decade and that council housing will be ‘at it’s core’. The duty to build these houses will be given to councils and funded by national government.
Labour are seeking to increase the amount of affordable housing that is available. Labour’s definition of affordable is quite different to the conservative’s 80% of market rents and will linked more to local incomes. They state that social housing will be ‘more affordable and built to higher standards’. Right to Buy will be stopped and local councils will be given ‘the powers and funding to buy back homes from private landlords’. Labour want to stop social cleansing by ensuring that regeneration only goes ahead with the consent of residents. To ensure that all council and Housing Association properties are up to a decent standard, Labour will fund a new Decent Homes programme.
Labour’s manifesto states that 11 million people rent their homes from a private landlord. In an attempt to ensure that private renters are treated fairly they have pledged some big changes in the private rented sector. They want to see every property up to a minimum standard with nationwide licensing in place and tougher sanctions for those landlords that flout the rules. To give tenants more security they will impose open- ended tenancies to put an end to ‘no fault evictions’ and they will cap rents in line with inflation but provide some cities with the power to cap further. To ensure that renters are able to organise and defend their rights, Labour intend to fund a new renters union. They will also put an end to immigration checks that Landlords currently need to perform for their tenants and also put a stop to landlords excluding tenants who claim housing allowance.
When it comes to Homelessness, Labour say they will ‘tackle the root causes of homelessness with more affordable homes and stronger rights for renters’. Their pledge is to end homelessness within five years using a national plan driven by a ‘Prime Minister led taskforce’. They will provide 8000 additional homes for those with a history of rough sleeping and raise Local Housing Allowance to 30th percentile of local rents. Labour will also ‘ear mark’ £1 billion a year for council’s homelessness services.
Read Labour’s full manifesto here:
So, it is clear that the Conservative and Labour views are quite different. Watch this space for the Liberal Democrats views on the housing market….
Emma Macgregor MARLA
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