Tim Farron is warning that unless developers build the homes Britain needs, a Liberal Democrat government will. The Liberal Democrat manifesto will commit to ensuring 300,000 homes a year are built for sale and rent by the end of the next parliament.
Under the Lib Dem plan, the government would become a house-builder itself, bringing in contractors to construct homes and then sell them into the market. Farron says the only way to get a grip on the housing crisis is by firm government action, as the market is broken and has failed to deliver.
“Getting a place of my own and then making a home for my family was one of the proudest moments of my life. But for many people in the next generation, it is virtually impossible to get on the housing ladder. They deserve a helping hand.
“If we have to penalise developers for land-banking and let local authorities hike up council tax on empty or un-built homes, so be it. We will set up a Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to provide long-term capital for new settlements.”
Poplar & Limehouse Lib Dem candidate, Elaine Bagshaw, added that both Labour and Tory governments have failed to get a grip on the housing shortage; a crisis that’s particularly acute in East London, where over 19,000 people are on the waiting list in Tower Hamlets alone.
“Labour controlled Tower Hamlets’ council for decades and of the 20 years our incumbent Labour MP has been in Parliament, his party was in government for 13 of them,” Bagshaw said. “We’re still not seeing meaningful results when it comes to addressing the housing crisis. That’s why a tough Lib Dem policy is needed.”