Sunday, 12 April 2015

Affordable housing: the political parties' policies >>>>>> UKIP

Continuing the series looking at the different parties' policies on affordable housing, here is an overview of what UKIP has had to say:

UKIP Leading the Housing Debate (2015)

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them not only with a legacy of economic growth and technological progress. We must leave them the miracle, the great spectacle of the British countryside, of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we concreted and ruined it.

UKIP Housing Spokesman Andrew Charalambous said, “We talk straight I want it to be known categorically that we will protect the British countryside not only by undoing the bogus Tory localism of imposing untenable housing targets on local authorities but by scraping HS2 and putting an end in the UK to one of the biggest scams in history, the EU wind farm project.

“Believing in Britain means not concreting the best countryside in the world to make up for the fact that Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives have failed to plan and prepare for their open door immigration policies.

“We will end right to buy for foreign nationals. Foreign nationals who have served with HM armed forces will not lose their entitlement.

“We will produce more affordable housing by changing the planning presumption in favour of residential in off high street office and commercial buildings.

“We will make brownfield development more attractive than ever before by issuing brownfield bonds, providing decontamination assessment grants, removing VAT from brownfield conversion costs and stamp duty from brownfield first builds. There are more than 66 thousand hectares of brownfield land in England alone, a third of which are in high growth areas like London and the South East. Our target is to build a million homes on brownfield by 2025.

“We will reform leasehold law making it easier for leaseholders to extend their leases and challenge unreasonable service charges.

“Council housing entitlement should be first and foremost for those who have contributed to the system. It is time we ended the perception that British people are at the back of the housing queue.”

UKIP Leading the Housing Debate - UKIP

UKIP targets empty homes and brownfield sites (2014)

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The UK Independence Party is expected to announce proposals to bring 700,000 empty properties back into use as affordable housing and to incentivise building on brownfield sites through ‘brownfield bonds’.

UKIP targets empty homes and brownfield sites | News | Inside Housing
UKIP pledges to build a million homes while protecting countryside » Housing » 24dash.com

Ukip cannot provide affordable housing with brownfield land alone (2014)

Housing is one of the most important issues facing the voters when they go to the polls in May. As Ukip continues to maintain a steady 15% in polls, pressure is mounting to provide answers to issues outside Britain’s relationship with the EU. Last month, Nigel Farage came under scrutiny about the party’s NHS position, struggling to distance himself from past quotes about privatisation. The same problem awaits them on housing.

Ukip have a ready diagnosis for why the UK fails to provide affordable homes: a boom in population caused by immigration. Too much competition for too few homes. Regardless of how true the position is, it offers few solutions. Even if the UK were to ‘regain control of its borders’, the housing crisis would remain: in-migration (people moving within the UK) to desirable areas like London is a greater cause of house price inflation than immigration itself.

Ukip’s first stated aim is to use only brownfield land for development. They aim to create a database for developers listing all such sites. However, brownfield land is so-called because it is either located in places no wants to live – places without infrastructure or jobs – or the land is too expensive to decontaminate and develop. There are ways to bring a few sites into use, but to believe brownfield land alone can supply the UK with homes, schools and jobs is mindless or wilfully misleading.

The campaign-piece of Ukips’s housing policy is a pledge to eradicate homelessness among veterans. There are 20,000 ex-servicemen sleeping rough according to Andrew Charalambous, the Ukip housing spokesman (and commercial landlord). It is shameful if this is the case, and more needs to be done to change it, but to make it the title policy of Ukip’s housing manifesto only betrays the blank pages beyond.

It is policy areas like housing that Ukip’s coalition between Left and Right protest votes shows its fragility. On the one hand, affordable housing will be of increasing importance if Ukip is to retain the working class vote gained from Labour. On the other, protecting rural areas from ‘development’ is a core issue for Ukip’s Right. Scaremongering about construction sites, or worse, windfarms, has long provided Ukip with a solid vote base in areas of the countryside. Ukip’s housing slogan, ‘Vote purple, keep Britain green’, is a pledge to do nothing for now.

All main parties are guilty of dishonesty where housing is concerned. Also, developing parties need time to define themselves on issues on which they have no natural position. As with the Liberal Democrat tuition fee pledge, this policy smacks of politics. It is only for votes – something that can be negotiated in coalition.

But, after the 2010 sham manifesto, dubbed ‘drivel’ by Nigel Farage, how much longer can Ukip play fast and loose with their credibility?

Ukip cannot provide affordable housing with brownfield land alone | CIVITAS

UKIP praises Green Party’s wish to end ‘right to buy’ (2015)

UKIP has given its support to the Green Party’s policy of ending the right to buy for council tenants in Brighton and Hove. The local branch of UKIP also applauded the Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas for her work on behalf of commuters.

The branch said: "We are fully supportive of the Green administration on Brighton and Hove City Council in their endeavours to bring an end to the right to buy council homes in this city.
The chronic lack of truly affordable housing bedevils our city and, if allowed to continue, will, sooner rather than later, have repercussions for our burgeoning local economy.
We are currently working on ways to address this very problem while making every endeavour to protect our cherished green open spaces.
We are shocked to learn that council officers have recommended increased charges for parking and permits.
In our view, irrespective of which political party has been in power at the time, a pervasive anti-car culture has prevailed in our town hall to the detriment of local residents in one way or another and we will have none of it."

The Greens backed a motion, proposed by Housing Committee chairman Councillor Bill Randall, at the last full council meeting in December. It asked the council’s chief executive Penny Thompson to write to the government urging it to end tenants’ right to buy their council home.

Brighton and Hove News » UKIP praises Green Party’s wish to end ‘right to buy’

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