Housing and Homelessness: The General Election party manifestos

on June 7, 2017

With a little under two weeks until The General Election, the major parties have all now released their manifestos, which contain their pledges and promises should they be voted into power.

This article breaks down each party’s pledges on housing and homelessness.

NOTE: The parties appear in alphabetical order.

Conservative

Here are the key points made in the Conservative party manifesto in regards to housing:

  • Build “fixed-term council houses”, sold privately after 10-15 years with automatic Right to Buy for tenants
  • Build one million homes by end of 2020 and 500,000 more by end of 2022
  • Build 160,000 houses on government-owned land
  • Implement the Homelessness Reduction Act to halve rough sleeping

Since the manifesto was released, it seems as though the party have already scrapped plans to build more socially rented council houses. This is notable as the party were previously lauded for their shift towards social housing, differing from the private sector home ownership policies of the 2015 manifesto.

The Homelessness Reduction Act has already passed through the House of Commons, and will pass irrespective of the election results. Nonetheless, it is an important step, as homelessness has doubled since 2010 in the UK.

Green

Here are the key points made in the Green party manifesto in regards to housing:

  • Introduce rent controls and ban letting fees
  • Build 100,000 social rented homes a year by 2022
  • End Right to Buy discounts
  • Aim for house price stability

The Green party want “secure, affordable housing for everyone”, and seek to build half a million social rented homes by 2022. This is a continuation of their 2015 pledge to build the same number of homes, albeit by 2020 then.

Further included is a pledge that these housing policies will “minimise the impact of housing on other species and the natural environment.”

The current Government policy on homelessness is described as being a “Treatment first” model. They would seek to replace this with a “Housing first” model.

 

Labour

Here are the key points made in the Green party manifesto in regards to housing:

  • Introduce controls on rent rises
  • Suspend the right to buy policy
  • Build at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year
  • Make available 4,000 additional homes for rough sleepers

The Labour party have boldly pledged to “tackle the housing crisis“, which involves building over a million new homes. This includes 100,000 homes discounted for first time buyers.

Jeremy Corbyn has been quoted as saying that housing is his greatest priority, and some argue that the party are resting their election hopes on this issue.

 

Liberal Democrats

Here are the key points made in the Green party manifesto in regards to housing:

  • Set target to build 300,000 new homes a year
  • Create 10 new garden cities in England
  • Stop right to buy for housing association tenants
  • Allow councils to charge 200% council tax on foreign-owned empty homes

The Lib Dems have pledged to “support more affordable housing“. This would include a policy in which rental payments would go towards the purchasing of a home.

The creation of garden cities is a Lib Dem promise that has carried over from their 2015 manifesto. Indeed, Nick Clegg was a strong advocate for such ventures.

Finally, the party have pledged £60m to combat homelessness.

 

UKIP

Here are the key points made in the Green party manifesto in regards to housing:

  • Provide 100,000 homes for younger people
  • Introduce locally-made, factory-built modular homes
  • Acquire brownfield sites through compulsory purchase to build affordable housing
  • Launch a review into operation of Housing Associations

Vote purple, keep Britain green” is a slogan that UKIP have deployed whilst on the campaign trail. Indeed, the regeneration of brownfield sites is an environmentally conscious policy, whilst also catering to a demographic who are struggling to get onto the property ladder.

UKIP have promised money to help tackle homelessness, albeit at the expense of the foreign aid budget.

 

 

 

Deputy Editor at Birmingham Eastside.

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