The Liberal Democrats Housebuilding plan:
The housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency. For far too long Britain has built many fewer homes than we need; unless we build enough to meet demand, year after year, we will find that housing costs rise further out of reach. That is why we have set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of housebuilding to 300,000 a year – almost double the current level. These new houses must be sustainably planned to ensure that excessive pressure is not placed on existing infrastructure. We will:
– Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to reach our house-building target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent. We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the Parliament.
– Create at least ten new Garden Cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality new zero carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport.
– Set up a new government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with a remit including providing long-term capital for major new settlements and helping attract finance for major house building projects.
– End the Voluntary Right to Buy pilots that sell off Housing Association homes and the associated high value asset levy.
– Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of Housing Associations so that they can build council and social housing.
– Scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes, and strengthen the hand of local government to prevent large developers reneging on their commitments.
– Require Local Plans to take into account at least 15 years of future housing need – focusing on long-term development and community needs.
Create a Community Right of Appeal in cases where planning decisions go against the approved local plan.
– Enable local authorities to: – Levy up to 200% Council Tax on second homes and ‘buy to leave empty’ investments from overseas. – Enforce house-building on unwanted public sector land. – Penalise excessive land-banking when builders with planning permission have failed to build after 3 years. – End the Right to Buy if they choose.