Ed Miliband has unveiled Labour’s plan to put first time buyers first by reducing stamp duty to zero and giving them priority access on new homes built.
This is the next stage in Labour’s comprehensive programme to tackle our country’s housing crisis by building the homes local people need and taking action on rents.
The measures announced will help first time buyers as the next Labour government embarks on the biggest house-building programme for a generation, increases the number of affordable homes, and introduces secure three-year tenancies with rents capped.
Labour’s better plan is needed to tackle a modern housing crisis in which a severe shortage of new homes being built has priced millions of people out of the property market and left many who want to buy living in private rented accommodation.
The Tories have overseen the lowest peacetime level of housebuilding since the 1920s, the lowest rate of home ownership for 30 years and a market where buy-to-let landlords and foreign investors are snapping up properties before local people get a chance.
The key elements of Labour’s comprehensive plan to help working families get the decent homes they deserve:
1. Put first time buyers first
Help with your first home: Labour will reduce stamp duty to zero for first time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000 – a saving of as much as £5,000 for people seeking to get on the property ladder.
First Call: Labour will give first time buyers that have lived in an area for more than three years “first call” on up to half of homes built in their area.
Local First: Labour will stop foreign buyers buying up properties before local buyers get a look in by ensuring they are advertised in local areas, increasing taxes paid by foreign buyers and council tax for empty homes.
2. The biggest house building programme in a generation
Labour’s plan will start construction on 1 million new homes by 2020 to deliver our promise of getting 200,000 homes built a year, with “use or lose it” powers ensuring developers build on land rather than hoarding it via the right to levy council tax on sites which remains undeveloped, as well as plans for a series of new garden cities and wider reform of the housing market.
3. More affordable and social housing
Labour’s plan will build more affordable homes year-on-year by strengthening affordable housing obligations on developers which have been watered down by the Tories, prioritising capital investment and allowing Labour’s £5 billion Future Homes Fund to invest in housing associations developing affordable homes.
4. Action on rent
Labour will bring in secure three-year tenancies for those who want them and cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation during this period. We will also ban letting agent fees - saving the average household £625 over the next parliament – and introduce a national register of landlords so that a minority of rogue owners can be identified, with tax relief restricted for those who do not meet basic standards.
Matt Lamb is Wyre Forest Labour Parliamentary Candidate
Promoted by Jerry Bartlett on behalf of Dr. Matt Lamb both at Wyre Forest
Labour Party, Paddington House, New Road, KIDDERMINSTER DY10 1AL