Last time I looked at what the party manifestos were saying about Fair Pay. This time I've been reading through the constantly changing promises on housing. The good news is that all political parties pledge to sort out our housing crisis.
You now have the hard job of picking the best plan. Several parties mention the need to tackle discrimination, however, I couldn't find any concrete ideas to ensure same sex couples or singles get equal access to the housing schemes outlined.
Views are my own.
Conservatives on housing
• Give housing association tenants the right to buy their home.
- Build 200,000 starter homes for first-time buyers under 40 by 2020
- Build 400,000 new units from brownfield land
- Offer 10,000 new homes to rent below market rates to help people save for a deposit
- Introduce a new ISA to those saving for a deposit
- Continue to help to buy scheme by paying 10% of homebuyers deposit.
The Conservative plan is to let the property market correct itself by increasing housing stock and supporting first time buyers. The idea is that an injection a new supply of homes will also make it easier to find property to rent. I couldn't find any particular plan to replenish the social housing that will be sold. In theory this could be achieved by using the new brownfield sites but the plan doesn't explicitly say that.
Liberal Democrats on housing
- Build 300,000 new homes a year
- New 'Rent to Own' scheme where your monthly payments steadily buy you a stake in a property
- New 'Help to Rent' tenancy deposit loans to help young people get into their first place
We won't know how many of these schemes will survive the coalition bartering but the ideas are there for people currently renting or first time buyers.
Labour on housing
- Create a £5 billion ‘Future Homes Fund’ to build homes and make sure first-time buyers are first in line.
- 200,000 homes built a year by 2020
- Introduce new ‘use it or lose it’ land powers for local authorities so no developer can sit on land without building on it which drives up costs.
- Introduce a ceiling on excessive rent rises
- Make stable three-year tenancies the rule, not the exception
- Ban rip-off letting fees, saving renters over £600.
- Create a national register of private landlords to drive up standards of rental properties and drive out rogue landlords.
Whatever your housing situation there should be something in Labour's pledges to please you (unless you are a landlord...). Details about the 3 year tenancy contracts are not available yet so I don't know if it will be extend to owner occupiers.
Unsurprisingly UKIP want to keep social homes for British citizens only. They don't mention where they want people fleeing persecution to live.
The Greens also want to build more homes but they will concentrate on social housing. They want to build 500,000 more council/housing association homes by 2020. It'll be interesting to see if that pledge can make it to any coalition agreements.
There just wasn't time to cover discrimination. Outside of the laws we already have the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and the Greens have put out manifestos pledging support. The Greens should get a thumbs up for leading the way on this issue by including all their LGBT pledges in their main manifesto rather than writing a separate one.
Whatever you views, please vote! As you can see there are real choices to be made.