Last edited 02 Jul 2024

What the political party manifestos say on housebuilding and building safety

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The rate of housebuilding and Building Safety have been two driving topics impacting the industry over the last two decades and with building coming to the fore over the past seven years since the tragic Grenfell tower fire on June 17, 2017. Here is a brief glance at what the political party manifestos say about these interrelated topics.

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[edit] The Conservative Party

'After delivering landmark new laws that freed leaseholders from cladding bills following on from the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower, we will continue our support for leaseholders affected by historic building safety problems by requiring the continuation of developer- funded remediation programmes for mid- and high-rise buildings.'

'We will back Ofsted to provide clear judgements to parents on the quality and safety of schools. We are rebuilding over 500 schools through the School Rebuilding Programme, including rebuilding or refurbishing every school identified to have RAAC.'

'We will deliver a secure future for communities by giving more people a better chance of living where they would like – near their family, friends and job. We have delivered over 2.5 million homes since 2010, including meeting our commitment to deliver one million homes in the last Parliament. Home ownership rates plummeted under the last Labour Government so we cannot afford to go back to square one. We will deliver 1.6 million homes in England in the next Parliament by:

The conservative party manifesto

The conservative party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] The Green Party

'There are over a million households on council waiting lists. In England you could expect to spend around 8.3 times annual average earnings to buy a home. Over 130,000 children are growing up in temporary accommodation. This national housing crisis is the result of 40 years of governments choosing to treat houses simply as assets rather than as homes, and of neglecting to build new social housing.'

'Building thousands of unaffordable homes isn’t the answer though – the priority should be providing everybody with a safe, warm affordable home. This means genuinely affordable homes, built to the right standards and in the right place, as part of flourishing communities. It means that we need to make sure all homes are fit for a climate-changed world. And it means protecting the rights of the millions of people who rent their homes.'

'To enhance the role of local authorities, elected Greens will push for local decisions about planning to be informed by a land use planning policy framework that seeks to balance various needs, such as to meet the challenge of the climate emergency, protect nature, grow enough food, and provide homes and energy.'

'Each area’s local plan will set viability levels for development and there will be no subsequent negotiation with developers. And Greens will take back the power of building control from developers and invest in publicly accountable building inspectors and building control officers. We cannot allow the continued provision of dangerous and substandard homes.'

'Elected Greens will push to:

The green party manifesto

The green party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] The Labour party

Labour will 'take decisive action to improve building safety, including through regulation, to ensure we never again see a repeat of the Grenfell fire.' They will review how to better 'protect leaseholders from costs and take steps to accelerate the pace of remediation across the country' and put a renewed focus on ensuring 'those responsible for the building safety crisis pay to put it right.'

They plan to build 1.5 million homes over the next parliament, restore national housing targets in planning, with a brownfield-first approach to development, releasing ‘grey beltland for new homes. Increase social and affordable housing supply through planning. Help councils and housing associations to build to their capacity and steps to ensure building more high-quality, well-designed, and sustainable homes and creating places.

£6.6 billion to upgrade five million homes. Grants and low interest loans insulation and other improvements, and partner
with combined authorities, local and devolved governments, to roll out this plan. Work with the private sector
to provide further private finance to accelerate home upgrades and low carbon heating.

Introduce a permanent, comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme for first time buyers and immediately abolish Section21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

The labour party manifesto

The labour party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] The Liberal Democrats

'Liberal Democrats know that a home is a necessity and the base on which people build their lives. So we will ensure that everyone can access housing that meets their needs. Yet, in Britain today, many people cannot afford to buy or rent a home of good quality where they live. Too many people live in housing so poor it damages their health.'

'Government housebuilding targets are regularly missed and the shortage of affordable and social housing is at crisis point. Newly built homes are often energy inefficient and environmentally unfriendly. Too many new houses are built as leasehold and leaseholders still face large bills, not least because of the building safety scandal. Homelessness remains shamefully high. Local authoritiespowers to build the kind of homes needed in their areas are inadequate.'

'Liberal Democrats are committed to tackling these housing failures head-on by:

In addition, they will:

The liberal democrat party manifesto

Liberal democrat party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] Plaid Cymru

'Plaid Cymru believes that everybody has the right to a safe and affordable home in their community, and this should be the purpose of the housing system. We will introduce a Right to Adequate Housing which will underpin this.'

Building safety is not a focus Paid, the manifesto includes the promise to ensure quality by working to develop Welsh construction supply chains. The Right to Adequate Housing Bill would include rent controls and other interventions to make housing more affordable. Other policies look at areas such as limiting the spread of second/holiday homes in Wales and encouraging developers to build bungalows and smaller homes.

The plaid cymru party manifesto

The plaid cymru party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] Reform UK

Fast-track planning and tax incentives for development of brownfield sites. ‘Loose fit planningpolicy for large residential developments with pre- approved guidelines and developer requirements.

The tax system should encourage smaller landlords into the rental markets. Not penalise them. So they would restore landlords’ rights to deduct finance costs and mortgage interest from tax on rental income.

Reform say existing legislation was inadequate to address bad practices, as such they wouldl boost the monitoring, appeals and enforcement process for renters with grievances.

All potential charges for leasehold or freehold residents must be clearly stated and consented to. Enforce Section 106 agreements. Ensure it is cheaper and easier to extend leases to 990 years and buy freeholds.

Theyy would incentivise innovation to speed up building: modular construction, digital technology and building sites that improve efficiency and cut waste.

The reform UK party manifesto

The reform UK party manifesto can be viewed here.

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[edit] The Scottish National Party

The Scottish National Party (SNP) would scrap the bedroom tax which punishes people claiming Universal Credit or housing benefit if they have a spare room in their rented council or housing association home. Devolve Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance which will allow the Scottish Government to take an innovative approach to tackle child poverty, expand the delivery of social housing and to help fund and encourage investment in house building.

'Tackle the housing emergency caused by decades of Westminster underinvestment, a hard Brexit and a £1.3bn cut to the Scottish Government’s capital budget from the UK Government. The UK Government must restore the cut to our Capital Budget.'

'Scotland has invested in key infrastructure projects like the Borders Railway and the Queensferry crossing and delivered over 128,000 affordable homes, but without a change in approach to fiscal rules we are reaching the limits of what can be done. The SNP is calling on the UK Government to scrap their fiscal rules and introduce new ones to allow greater investment in renewing infrastructure and services. The UK Government must abandon the current trajectory and recognise the value of investing in national infrastructure.'

The party would also look at a remediation fund for public sector buildings effected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

The Scottish National party manifesto

Scottish National party manifesto can be viewed here.

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