The aim of housing policy is to make available a decent, affordable home for every citizen but no recent government has come close to securing this. Instead, the deliberate destruction of state housebuilding capacity together with mass immigration has created a perfect storm which denies millions a viable route to start a family and unfairly dashes young peoples’ dreams of a home of their own. We believe in urgently reversing this trend by reinvigorating state housebuilding and removing market distortions which prevent housing supply meeting demand.
- We will establish a British Housing Corporation (BHC) to oversee and fund the construction of 100,000 social homes per year. In England, the BHC’s mandate will be implemented by newly established County Housing Corporations (CHCs) and in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland by the devolved governments.
- CHCs will have powers to make Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire necessary land and the ability to grant planning permission for their developments. They will take ownership of all social housing stock currently administered by local authorities. After a transitory moratorium to allow social housing stock to be replenished, we will re-introduce Right to Buy with the proviso that sold property must be replaced one-for-one by CHCs using the receipts of sale.
- The BHC will establish skills colleges to rapidly scale Britain’s construction workforce, and the ability to invest in the development of new technologies to help improve productivity.
- Private housing developers will be levied a 50% tax on the uplift to land value attributable to the granting of planning permission on all greenfield sites and undeveloped land.
- We will apply a moratorium on buy-to-let mortgages with the aim of re-balancing the housing market towards the interests of young people and owner-occupiers.
- We will bring forward legislation to increase security of tenure and to encourage longer term tenancies in the private rented sector.
- All residential let property will require a ‘Conditions Certificate’ (a housing ‘MOT’) issued by a new Housing Standards Inspectorate. It will be illegal to collect rent on any home that has failed to obtain its Conditions Certificate – for example, for poor standards of property maintenance – for the full period that it has no Conditions Certificate.
- Married families will be given preference in social housing allocation and the housing needs of military veterans will be prioritised.
- Homelessness will be tackled via a combination of increased provision of supervised hostel places with support services relating to drug, alcohol, and mental health issues. Vagrancy will no longer be “enabled by indifference”, and people sleeping rough will be escorted to safe and secure accommodation.