What Small Parties’ Election Manifestos 2024 Say On Housing

What Small Parties' Election Manifestos 2024 Say On Housing
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26 June 2024 – The UK voting system is such that it’s difficult for smaller parties to get into government. However, they are a vital part of the parliamentary system and can influence policies, if they have enough MPs.

With many people seeing the two major parties, Conservatives and Labour, as very similar, smaller parties get more attention. The lack of trust in both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer also makes many people look to smaller parties.

Therefore, we will have a look at their election manifestos 2024 to see what they say about housing in the UK.

Green Party on housing

The Green Party’s manifesto includes their Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter scheme, a key part of their housing strategy that would require local authorities to spread small developments across their areas. This will not only address the housing crisis but also promote balanced development.

Additional requirements will include extra investment in local transport, health, and other related services for new developments.

Furthermore, true to the Green Party’s core beliefs, all new homes will have to meet Passivhaus or similar standards. In other words, builders must install solar panels and heat pumps on new builds.

The Greens also pledge 150,000 social homes annually. They would achieve this by adding new housing stock and refurbishing older homes.

The individual Right To Buy would be discontinued under their plans to ensure social homes are reserved for local communities. A community Right To Buy would be established so local authorities are not limited to one type of property.

The party’s election manifesto also includes measures for rent controls, a stable rent tenancy, and a promise to stop no-fault evictions. This is great news for many renters who constantly fear being evicted due to unaffordable rent prices or unreasonable landlords.

Lastly, under a Green government, landlords and tenants could solve disputes through private tenancy boards. These cheap and informal forums would handle complaints before they reach a higher court.

Liberal Democrats on housing

property market

The Liberal Democrats recognise the housing failures the current government has overlooked. To address this, they vow to reform the Rent-to-Own model for social housing in their manifesto.

Under the changes, those who can’t afford a deposit will have the option where rent payments will increase their stake in the property. Ownership will be guaranteed after 30 years.

The party aims to solve the housing crisis by building up to 380,000 new homes annually – including 150,000 for social housing – through garden cities and community-led developments.

The party also outlined several other initiatives to achieve this goal. Incentives will increase the development of brownfield sites. The Liberal Democrats would also put pressure on developers who refuse to build through the use-it-or-lose-it planning permission.

Furthermore, local authorities would have the authority to end Right To Buy in their areas.   

Renters weren’t left out of the conversation, either. No-fault evictions would be prohibited, three-year tenancies would be the norm, and a national register of licensed landlords would be established. 

Reform UK on housing

The last of the three election manifestos 2024 we look at is by Reform UK. Although they don’t call it a manifesto, instead they say it’s a contract with the British people.

Their contract hinges on the measures that must be implemented within the first 100 days of the new government. The core of the party’s approach to the housing crisis is reevaluating the planning system.

The reforms focus on developing brownfield sites. The party says that potential developers will always hesitate, but planning and tax incentives will solve the problem.

Reform UK would also introduce a ‘loose fit planning’ scheme with pre-approved guidelines and developer requirements to fast-track large developments. In the same vein, the party vows to incentivise construction innovation that would increase the efficiency and speed of building.

Other pledges include a system that prioritises local people and those who have paid for social housing. Meanwhile, the Renter’s Reform Bill would be abolished in favour of better monitoring, appeals, and enforcement processes for renters.

Our verdict on the smaller parties election manifestos 2024

We all know that the likelihood of smaller parties getting into government is minimal, due to the UK’s voting system. But as the Liberal Democtrats have demonstrated in 2010, they can still get into government through a coalition with the largest party.

Admittedly, this didn’t go particularly well for them, but it shows that a vote for a smaller party isn’t a wasted vote. Besides, their MPs can still influence laws and policies, especially if the ruling party doesn’t have a huge majority.

But because their chances of having to implement their manifestos are very low, they have a greater freedom to be bold and come up with more radical ideas. They also don’t have to worry too much about how they would pay for their policies.

So which of the smaller parties has the edge on housing? For renters, both the Lib Dems and the Greens aim to protect renters better with measures that would help many people. Reform UK, on the other hand, seems to be on the side of the landlords here.

All three parties acknowledge the need to build more homes, but only the Lib Dems put a figure on their ambitions for both private and social housing. The Greens focus on social housing to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

Reform UK won’t give a target, and they seem to think that loosening planning restrictions is the only way to get more houses built, favouring developers. While planning reform is sorely needed, what Nigel Farage’s party suggests doesn’t sound like it was thought out properly.

And let’s not forget, planning restrictions are in place for a reason. For example, to prevent the loss of biodiversity.

All in all, the plans of the Greens and the Liberal Democrats have more substance and are more likely to help tackle the issues the housing market faces.


  • News Desk

    Our news desk team includes a qualified architect, a freelance journalist, and a fanatical property expert who has over 12 years experience in the industry.

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