The Conservatives and Labour both agree that Britain has a housing crisis – a crisis of supply and a crisis of affordability. We have read through both Manifestos and extracted key proposals for housing.
Labour’s Manifesto proposed the following:
1. Promised to invest into building over a million new homes.
2. Build at least 100,000 council and housing association homes per year by the end of the next parliament.
3. Set up a new Department for Housing. The Department would have to improve the number, standards and affordability and overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be its housing delivery body and give councils new powers to build homes.
4. Through the National Transformation Fund, it would prioritise the building of new homes, including council homes.
5. Prioritise brownfield sites, protect the Green Belt and start work on a new generation of new towns to avoid urban sprawl.
6. Consult on new rules on minimum space standards to prevent rabbit hutch properties and on new standards for building ‘zero carbon homes’.
7. Ensure local plans addressed the need for older people’s housing, ensuring that choice and downsizing options were readily available.
8. Land registry would stay in public sector and ownership of land would become more transparent.
9. Pledged to build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers and guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027, giving local first time buyers ‘first choice’ for new homes built in their area.
10. Give leaseholders security from rip-off ground rents and end the routine use of leasehold houses in new developments.
11. Suspend right-to-buy with councils only able to resume sales if they could prove they had a plan to replace homes sold like of like basis.
12. For the rental market, it would make new three year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent increases and look at giving the Mayor the power to give renters in London additional security.
13. Would legislate to ban letting agency fees for tenants.
Conservative’s Manifesto proposed the following:
1. Meet their 2015 commitment to deliver a million new homes by the end of 2022.
2. Will deliver the reforms proposed in the Housing White Paper 2017.
3. Continue to maintain strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and areas of outstanding beauty.
4. Building 160,000 homes on the Government’s own land.
5. Enter into new council housing deals with ambitious pre-development Local Authorities to help them build more housing, using low cost capital funding.
6. Ensure more private capital is invested in more productive investments to help the economy to grown faster and securely.
7. Build new fixed term social housing sold privately after 10-15yrs with automatic right to buy for tenants.
8. Reform Compulsory Purchase order to make them easier and less expensive for councils to use and make it easier to determine the true market value of sites.
9. Continue the £2.5bn flood defence program put in place for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.
10. Encourage modern methods of construction and give councils the powers to intervene where developers do not act on their planning permissions.
11. Not just in the South East, rebalancing housing growth across the country in line with modern industrial strategy.
12. Work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value.
13. Helping housing associations increase their specialist housing stock.
It is evident that both parties are placing great emphasis on the need for the delivery of new homes, which can only be positive for the development industry and country as whole, the key challenge will be whichever party gets into power, will be to ensure that the resources needed to deliver on such aspirations are available…be that in Local Authorities, on site and sales offices…… We will also need the planning system to operate in a far more responsive manner than it currently occurs. The challenge is on……!