Lib Dems adopt 300,000 home policy
The Liberal Democrats will adopt a range of housing policies including a call to build 300,000 homes a year after delegates approved a paper at the party’s annual conference.
A motion endorsing the Decent homes for all paper was carried with only a handful of votes against.
Delegates also approved three amendments to the paper. These called for local authorities to be given the power to tax vacant developable land, for the party to reject moves to sell off high-value social housing, and noted concerns about government plans to allow section 106 requirements to be reduced.
Delegates were also asked to choose between two options for a policy on private rented sector licensing. They voted in favour of requiring a national licensing scheme for managing agents and local licensing for landlords where appropriate, rather than for a national licensing scheme for landlords.
Other policies in the paper include:
- Stimulate a major programme of house building, reaching 300,000 homes a year, by giving more freedom to local authorities and social landlords
- Require all ‘government-owned’ housing to undergo energy efficiency improvements through the green deal by 2018
- Stronger powers for the social housing regulator
- Improve powers to tackle empty homes, and reduce VAT on renovation work
- Allow social housing providers including local authorities to vary rents based on the tenant’s ability to pay
Annette Brooke, the co-chair of the party’s committee on communities and local government, said: ‘Our country is facing a housing crisis. The Liberal Democrats are determined to come up with a robust policy that delivers the fairness that we have been talking about all conference.’