We have a housing crisis with social homes being sold off and soaring rents in the private rented sector. There is a desperate shortage of affordable homes across the South East, and growing pressure on the Green Belt for development. Greens believe that a house is for living in, not for investment.
In the South East:
- homes now cost 12 times the average salary
- in 2013/14 no new homes were completed by local authorities
- 240,000 households are on the waiting list for social housing
- Around 45,000 new homes could be built on brownfield sites
- in 2014 no homes were brought back into use using Empty Dwelling Management Orders
The Greens will:
- Abolish the cruel and unfair bedroom tax
- Provide 500,000 social rented homes by 2020 and bring empty homes back into use
- Cap rents, introduce longer tenancies and licence landlords to provide greater protection for renters
- Abolish landlord perks including mortage tax relief (which would raise nearly £6bn per year)
- End mass Council house sales and the right to buy at a discounted price
- Scrap the help to buy scheme
- Provide more rights for homeless people
- Remove the limit on local authority borrowing
Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions show how those least able to afford it are being made to pay for the financial crisis. Almost 7000 households in Kent and a further 2100 in East Sussex have had their benefits cut because of the coalition’s bedroom tax, losing around £900 each.
Around £6 million was slashed from housing benefit payments in Kent alone by the end of the first year of the bedroom tax.