Thursday, 18 May 2017

General Election 2017: Liberal Democrat housing pledges

© London Intelligence 2017

Below is a raw first taste of the housing pledges in the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the General Election on 8 June 2017. 

The Liberal Democrats will aim to build 300,000 new homes a year – to double the current level. Government would commission the building of homes for sale and rent. Developers would be stopped from advertising homes abroad before advertised in the UK.

A Rent to Own model would give tenants increasing stakes in their rented property, owning it outright after 30 years.
Young people to be helped with a Help to Rent scheme that provides government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30. 

500,000 affordable, energy-efficient homes will be built by the end of the Parliament.
Ten new Garden cities will be created with tens of thousands of new high-quality and zero-carbon homes.
A government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank would provide long-term capital for major new settlement and lever in other finance for house-building schemes.
The borrowing cap on local authorities would be lifted.
Borrowing capacities of housing associations to be raised. 

The voluntary Right to Buy pilots, set up the Conservative government, would be ended. The associated high value asset levy would be scrapped too. 

Smaller housing schemes would be freed of any duty to provide affordable homes.
Local councils to be empowered to prevent large developers reneging on affordable housing commitments.
A Community Right of Appeal would allow local people to defend an approved local plan against planning decisions.
Local councils could charge 200% Council Tax on second homes and on overseas investors who ‘buy to leave’ homes.
Land-banking developers with planning permission to face penalties if they fail to build after three years.

Letting fees for tenants to be banned.
Up front deposits to be capped.
Minimum standards for rental homes to be raised.
Tenants to be given first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy. The price to be set at an independently valued market rate.
Mandatory landlord licensing and a database of rogue landlords and letting agents to protect tenants against rogue landlords and agents. 

Rough sleeping
Ending rough sleeping by increased support for homelessness prevention. Funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing.
Ensure all council have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, persistently homeless people.

© Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, May 2017

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