There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in Britain. Many of those who would like to own their own home are simply unable to even contemplate it. They are ‘locked out’ of home ownership.
Social housing waiting lists get longer and longer. The Thatcher era saw a dramatic extension in home ownership, but with a corresponding decline in social housing, as proceeds from the ‘Right to Buy’ initiative were not reinvested back into community housing.
Only 23 per cent of properties are deemed ‘affordable’ nationally, but the situation is even worse in the countryside, where only 5 per cent of rural properties are affordable and social housing is more difficult to find. Yet no-one wants to see our green fields concreted over, or the beauty of our rural landscape destroyed.
UKIP will introduce policies to incentivise the creation of more affordable housing, while protecting rural communities and preserving our precious countryside.
BRINGING EMPTY HOMES BACK INTO USE
Housing charity Shelter reports there are 279,000 privatelyowned long-term empty homes in England alone, while other bodies, such as the Empty Homes Agency, put the figure much higher still. The most obvious way to create new homes is by bringing these empty homes back into use.
We will place a statutory duty on local authorities to:
• Include a commitment to bringing empty properties back into use within their broader housing and planning strategies
• Charge those whose homes are empty for more than two years 50 per cent more than the applicable rate of council tax, with exceptions for owners who are in HM Armed Forces.