Mark's campaign notepad and other stuff

Notes from the writer/LibDem parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome

Election Day -18: Housing (Third in a series of four policy statements)

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In a fair society everyone should have the opportunity to have a decent home at a price they can afford. This is the Westminster Liberal Democrat vision for housing. To make this a reality, Liberal Democrats would bring 250,000 empty homes in England back into use through a grant and cheap loan scheme. This is an inexpensive, green alternative to building new homes that will lead to regenerated neighbourhoods.
The recession provided an opportunity to invest in more affordable homes so as to build a fairer society and a more sustainable economy. Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised 3 million new homes by 2020 to ease the housing crisis. Very little action has been taken to achieve this. Tory Mayor Boris Johnson promised to build Londoners 50,000 new affordable homes by 2011. He at least admits that this promise will not be kept!
In Westminster the average house price is a staggering £744,586, making it impossible for anyone to get on the housing ladder. Families on modest incomes are forced to pay exorbitant rents in often overcrowded conditions. The Council has promised to build a further 500 affordable homes over 4 years, but some 5,600 more homes are needed. Some regeneration programmes have been promised in the areas such as the Church Street neighbourhood and the Brunel estate, but the Council’s intentions remain unclear.
Westminster Liberal Democrats would look to bring some several thousand empty homes back into use, including over 400 council properties lying empty in the borough. We would undertake a major investment programme to insulate homes, making them warmer and more energy efficient, saving both the planet and the money in people’s pockets. Finally we would ensure that local residents have a key role in determining the housing needs for their area.

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Written by markblackburn

April 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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