General Election 2019: Your Guide To Key Housing Policy Proposals

27.11.19
By Josh Gertler

Housing remains a priority for most parties going into the general election, which takes place on 12th December 2019. Our friends at Goodlord have put together a guide to the key housing policies from the manifestos that have been released by the Conservatives, Labour, Green Party, and Liberal Democrats.

Conservative

  • Encourage long-term fixed rate mortgages which reduce the cost of deposits to support a path to home ownership for first-home buyers, and extend the Help to Buy scheme from 2021 to 2023.
  • Maintain commitment to Right to Buy for all council tenants and maintain the voluntary Right to Buy scheme agreed with housing associations.
  • Continue reforms to leasehold, including implementing a ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, restricting ground rents, and providing necessary mechanisms of redress for tenants
  • End “no fault” evictions.
  • Strengthen rights of possession for “good” landlords.
  • Introduce “lifetime” deposits, which move with the tenant.
  • Introduce a 3% surcharge on non-UK resident property buyers to help fund new housing programmes and initiatives to reduce homelessness.

Read more in the Conservative manifesto.

Labour

  • Introduce a new social house-building programme, building at an annual rate of at least 150,000 council and social homes by the end of parliament.
  • Build more low-cost homes for first-time buyers in every area, including new discount homes with prices linked to local incomes. Reform Help to Buy to focus on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.
  • Introduce a levy on overseas companies buying housing.
  • End the sale of new leasehold properties, abolish unfair fees and conditions, and give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold at an affordable price.
  • Introduce a zero-carbon standard for all new homes and upgrade existing homes to make them more energy efficient.
  • Cap rents with inflation, and give cities the powers to cap rents further.
  • Introduce new open-ended tenancies and stop “no fault” evictions.
  • Ensure every rental property meets new minimum standards, enforced through nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for landlords “who flout the rules”.
  • Fund new renters’ unions throughout the country, to “allow renters to organise and defend their rights”.
  • End “discriminatory rules” that require landlords to check people’s immigration status (Right to Rent checks) or that allow them to exclude people on housing benefit.
  • Give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb.

Read more in the Labour manifesto.

Liberal Democrats

  • Build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year and ensure that total housebuilding increases to 300,000 each year.
  • Increase minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements.
  • Graduate Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property.
  • Devolve full control of Right to Buy to local councils.
  • Establish a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in.
  • Improve protections against “rogue landlords” through mandatory licensing.

Read more in the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto.

Green

  • Build 100,000 new council homes a year.
  • Implement a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard escalator to raise the minimum level allowed from the current E rating to A rating by 2030.

Read more in the Green manifesto.

Last updated on 27/11/19.

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