At their Autumn Conference next month, the Liberal Democrats will outline plans to tackle the housing crisis, stimulate the economy and generate jobs.
The proposals, outlined in housing policy paper Decent Homes for All, would see up to 300,000 homes being built annually. They would also increase protection for private tenants by promoting longer tenancies and cracking down on rogue landlords.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Simon Hughes MP said:
“Successive governments have failed to address what is now a housing crisis. A shortage of homes has made it impossible for many to get on the housing ladder and has seen rents, especially in big cities, rise to historic and unaffordable highs.
“That’s why Liberal Democrats have outlined our most ambitious ever proposals for building the new homes Britain needs. Building 300,000 new houses a year will ease demand, stimulate the economy and generate jobs. It’s a win-win.
“Everyone is entitled to a decent and affordable roof over their head and Liberal Democrats are committed to delivering it.”
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green welcomed the news:
“Haringey has long faced an acute housing crisis, and has the fourth largest homeless problem in London. Every week, dozens of people who are either homeless, or in fear of becoming homeless, contact my office asking for help.
“Yet again, I am glad to see the Liberal Democrats attempting to clear up the mess of previous Governments. We have already cut taxes for working families. I hope now, starting with this policy paper, we can also go some way to addressing the housing crisis.”
I fully applaud the principle, but this article is a little thin on the practical. How are you going to force local authorities to grant planning permission for all these new homes? How does this help the property crisis in London where there is very limited land for new development? Is this just opening the door for more private ownership (not a bad thing at all) or will it also address the problem with social housing which has existed since we first started selling off the housing stock (again, right-to-buy is a good thing) without replacing it? Fix that issue and you lower the housing benefit bill as private landlords can no longer profit to the extent they do by charging people who should be in council accomodation extortionate rents.
As with so many Lib Dem policies, it’s a great wider principle with little or no detail as to how it will actually work in practice.
Build social housing.
The cost of any kind of shelter is out of the reach of most of those that need it yet every government scheme since 2008 has looked to bolster prices any way it can.
Part rent/part buy, shared equity and now 95% LTV mortgages underwritten by the taxpayer all help those who can afford it UP to the asking price.
Yet of the millions who need a home only a minority can afford it even with the help, but all are taxed to fund the very schemes that price them further away from a home.
Sooner or later the penny will drop that they are being taxed to underwrite the value of others homes while at the same time pricing themselves onto the streets.
These people, these taxpayers, need social housing.
Build social housing.