Liberal Democrats’ Housing and Renters’ Rights Commitments in Election Manifesto

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey unveiled the party’s 116-page manifesto on June 10, with significant pledges focused on housing, renters’ rights, and planning powers for local authorities.

Housing Commitments

  1. Annual Housing Targets:
    • Build 380,000 homes per year across the UK, including 150,000 social homes through garden cities and community-led developments. This target surpasses the current government’s unmet goal of 300,000 new homes per year set in 2019.
  2. Garden Cities and Community-Led Developments:
    • Develop 10 new garden cities and support community-led housing projects to boost the housing supply.
  3. Planning Reforms:
    • Expand neighbourhood planning across England.
    • Allow councils to buy land for housing at current rather than projected values.
    • Improve planning funding at councils to enhance outcomes.
    • Encourage the use of rural exception sites and trial community land auctions.
    • Introduce incentives for developing brownfield sites and implement “use it or lose it” planning permissions.
    • Invest in sustainability skills, training, and technology for the construction sector.
    • Ensure developments include proper infrastructure, services, and amenities.
    • Embark on a 10-year upgrade to ensure new homes are zero carbon.
  4. Leasehold and Cladding Reforms:
    • Abolish leaseholds and cap ground rents to a nominal fee.
    • Remove dangerous cladding from all buildings at no cost to leaseholders.
  5. Control of Second Homes and Short-Term Lets:
    • Give local authorities new powers to control second homes and short-term lets.

Renters’ Rights

  1. Ban No-Fault Evictions:
    • Immediately ban no-fault evictions, addressing a key measure in the aborted Renters Reform Bill.
  2. Default Tenancies:
    • Make three-year tenancies the default to provide greater security for renters.
  3. National Landlord Register:
    • Create a national register for landlords to improve oversight and accountability.
  4. End Right to Buy:
    • Give local authorities the power to end Right to Buy in their areas.
  5. Rough Sleeping and Social Renters’ Rights:
    • Work to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament through various measures.
    • Encourage clear standards for social renters, including strict time limits for repairs and full recognition of tenant panels.
  6. Rent to Own Model:
    • Introduce a Rent to Own model for social housing, enabling rental payments to increase a tenant’s stake in the property, allowing them to own it outright after 30 years.

Conclusion

The Liberal Democrats aim to tackle the UK’s housing crisis through ambitious building targets, renters’ rights reforms, and empowering local authorities with greater planning powers. Their manifesto outlines a comprehensive approach to improving housing affordability, quality, and security, while addressing environmental concerns and the rights of renters and social tenants.

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