Lib Dems pledge to build 300,000 homes per year

A Liberal Democrat government would commit to building 300,000 new homes a year.

A third of the homes planned by the Lib Dems would be social rented homes, with a £10 billion capital infrastructure investment to support this.

In the year to June 2019, a total of 173,660 house builds were completed, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

On top of any private sector homes built, Labour has committed to building 150,000 a year in its manifesto – two-thirds of which would be council houses, with the rest being “genuinely affordable homes”.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives said they would build “at least” a million more homes in the next parliament – a move housing charity Shelter said would be a “significant disappointment to many” as it is actually 100,000 fewer than the current target.

The Lib Dems would also set up a “Rent to Own” model for social housing and provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.

The party’s housing spokesman Tim Farron said the Lib Dems are “the only party with a bold plan to build a brighter future for all.”

Lib Dem housing spokesman Tim Farron. Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

He added: “Whether renting or buying, across the country too many people – people who work hard and play by the rules – are struggling to afford good homes in the right location. We are facing a national housing crisis.

“To meet demand we need to build 300,000 homes a year. Both Labour and the Tories, in pursuing Brexit, show they are willing to risk 10% of our construction workers who are from the EU, making this crisis worse.

“Liberal Democrats will build 100,000 social homes for rent every year, to ensure that everybody has a safe and secure home. We will tackle rogue landlords with mandatory licensing, and promote long-term lettings.

“We will also tackle wasted vacant housing stock by allowing local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% where homes are left empty for more than six months.”

In their manifesto, which was launched on Wednesday, the Lib Dems said new homes would be built to zero-carbon standards and powers under the Right to Buy scheme would be devolved to local councils.

Responding, a Labour Party spokesman said: “The Liberal Democrats have got their facts wrong. Labour has proposed the biggest council and social housebuilding programme since the 1960s, which would sit alongside homes built by the private sector.

“The Liberal Democrats can’t hide from their responsibility for the huge cuts to housing investment which have fuelled our housing crisis.

“The only way to fix the housing crisis is through a mass programme of council and social housing – Labour is the only party which will do that.”