With only 20 days to go until election day, the Conservative party published their manifesto revealing their ambitions and plans for the next couple of years to come, including some big hopes for Britain’s property sector.
In the party’s manifesto for 2017, Theresa May dedicated two whole pages to the current issue of adequate housing for everyone in the UK.
The manifesto kicks the section off by explaining if the situation won’t be fixed, the promise of adequate housing for everyone can’t be kept up. The key to fixing the currently dysfunctional housing market is to build enough houses to meet the demand, so the report.
This increase in house building will then lead to a slower rise in property prices and will therefore make it easier for everyone to make it onto the property ladder. Or at least find affordable rental accommodation.
So far, most people would probably agree with the manifesto. As per usual, the devil is in the detail and, in this case, in the ways of how to achieve this dream.
So let’s have a look at the nitty-gritty:
- The Government promises to meet the commitment from 2015 to build 1 million new homes by 2020, on top of that, the Government also promises an additional 0.5 million by 2022
- Referring back to the Housing White Paper, the Government intends to free up more land to build in the right places and encourages modern methods of construction as well as giving councils more powers to intervene in the process
- None of the above should happen to the compromise of a property’s quality as standards need to be held up and even improved in order to guarantee everyone can afford to live in a home that’s a solid foundation to build a life
- The Government is therefore going to focus on traditional forms of housing, namely mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets
- The country’s housing dynamics need to be rebalanced between north and south, as currently the South East is getting a lot of attention, this needs to be addressed in line with Britain’s industrial strategy (i.e. commitment to the Northern Powerhouse)
- Social housing needs to be a stronger partner in order to be able to build the amount of homes necessary, those houses will then be sold privately after ten to 15 years through the Right to Buy scheme for tenants
- The Government aims to build more and better homes that will be welcomed by their communities because they improve them
As a final note on housing, the manifesto states that “these policies will take time, and meanwhile we will continue to support those struggling to buy or rent a home, including those living in a home owned by a housing association.”
How a Conservative Government is going to achieve those changes in order to fix the housing crisis hasn’t been addressed yet in the manifesto, which probably isn’t too surprising as a manifesto is more of an overview of a party’s intention and principles rather than a step-by-step guide to a solution.