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When everyone has a home

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Key Housing Areas the Liberal Democrats will address if back in Government

The 2014 Liberal Democrat conference has ended, allowing us to roundup some of the housing key areas which they would like to address if they are back in Government after the next election.

Local authorities should be able to suspend social tenants’ Right to Buy

There was strong support for local authorities to be able to suspend social tenants’ Right to Buy. There was concern that not enough new social housing stock is being made available to replace those purchased under Right to Buy. Social tenants are currently able to purchase their home with large financial incentives i.e. a discount off the market price. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary commented that Right to Buy had done enormous damage.

Build more social housing

The party made a commitment to build more social housing as part of their overall plan to build 300,000 new homes a year. They backed a proposal by the Labour Party for a Help to Build scheme to increase the supply of social housing.

Address Help to Buy Scheme

Vince Cable criticised the government’s current Help to Buy Scheme as actually making house purchasing less affordable as it has increased property prices. 

Establish a Housing Investment Bank

There was a proposal for the establishment of a new Housing Investment Bank to simplify the allocation of public funds and to attract private finance to help increase the level of house building.

Give social landlords more control

Social landlords should be given more control over their business. This in turn would enable them to build more affordable homes and make better use of their resources. They hope that this, in turn, would encourage more investment in reducing heating costs and fuel poverty.

Right to appeal for private tenants

Private tenants should have a right to appeal against eviction notices which have been issued as a result of a tenant’s complaints about the property they are renting.

Adopt a commissioner of housing role

Central government should adopt a commissioner of housing role and be able to build new homes directly. They believe that this could be a radical way of tackling the housing crisis. This would apply to both social and private rented.

For further information on the conference can be found on the Liberal Democrats website

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