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Labour promise to build 1.5 million homes and end ‘fleecehold’ in manifesto

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  • 13/06/2024
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Labour promise to build 1.5 million homes and end ‘fleecehold’ in manifesto
The Labour Party has pledged to develop one-and-a-half million new homes, increase the stamp duty surcharge for non-UK residents and make commonhold the default tenure in its manifesto.

In its manifesto, the Labour Party also pledged to “immediately update” the National Policy Planning Framework to restore mandatory housing targets. 

The manifesto stated: “We will take tough action to ensure that planning authorities have up-to-date local plans and reform and strengthen the presumption in favour of sustainable development.” 

It will fund additional planning officers and increase the rate of the stamp duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents. 

Additionally, Labour have pledged to develop on previously used land and urban brownfield sites, but said that “brownfield development alone will not be enough to meet our housing need.” 

The party said greenbelt land was already regularly released for development, but Labour will take a “more strategic approach” to greenbelt land designation to build homes in the right places. Labour will also focus on ‘grey belt’ land and introduce ‘golden rules’ to benefit developments and nature. 

Combined and mayoral authorities will be given new planning powers and freedoms to make use of grant funding for housing development. 

 

Access to housing 

The party said it would also deliver the “biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding in a generation” by strengthening planning obligations and changing the Affordable Homes Programme. 

“Labour will prioritise the building of new social rented homes and better protect our existing stock by reviewing the increased right to buy discounts introduced in 2012 and increasing protections on newly built social housing,” the manifesto stated. 

It also pledged to work with local authorities to give first-time buyers the first choice of new homes, rather than being sold to international investors. 

The manifesto confirmed the introduction of a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme to support first-time buyers. Labour leader Keir Starmer announced this move last week, which led to brokers saying it only addressed part of the problem surrounding access to homeownership.

Since its introduction in 2021, the mortgage guarantee scheme has supported 42,836 completions accounting for 1.3% of the UK market.

 

Protection for tenants and homeowners 

The Labour Party said it would ensure commonhold is the default housing tenure and tackle “unregulated and unaffordable group rent charges”. 

The manifesto stated the party would “bring the injustice of ‘fleecehold’ private housing estates and unfair maintenance costs to an end”. 

It pledged to get rid of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, and prevent private renters from being “exploited and discriminated against”. Labour proposed to bring in measures to enable tenants to challenge unreasonable rent increases and extend Awaab’s Law to the private rental sector. 

Labour also promised to review how to protect leaseholders from costs associated with improving building safety and speed up the pace of remediation. 

The Labour Party is the latest to reveal its election manifesto this week, following the Green Party, which pledged to end Right to Buy, the Liberal Democrats, which committed to building 300,000 homes per year, and the Conservative Party, which proposed raising the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers and bringing back the Help to Buy scheme.

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