June 12

Tory Proposals on Rental and Housing Policy Explained


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The Conservatives have released a detailed 78-page manifesto, dedicating just over two pages to housing and related issues. Housing and Related Issues in the Tory Manifesto


Homeownership Support: 

The Conservatives are focusing on increasing homeownership. Their plans include reintroducing the Help to Buy scheme and abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties valued under £425,000. This initiative aims to ease the path to homeownership for new buyers, making it financially more accessible.


Tax Incentives for Landlords:

The manifesto outlines a proposal to abolish capital gains tax for landlords who sell their properties to tenants, a measure designed to boost housing stock and encourage long-term renters to transition into homeownership. This tax break is set to last for two years and is intended to motivate landlords to sell, thus freeing up more properties in the market.


Urban Development:

To address housing shortages and urban density, the Conservatives plan to amend planning rules. These changes are meant to promote higher-density housing developments in city areas, particularly targeting places like London. The goal is to allow cities to grow more densely, akin to urban centers in Europe, such as Paris and Barcelona, facilitating the creation of more housing units in central locations.


No Inheritance Tax Changes:

Despite calls from some within the party, the manifesto does not promise to cut or eliminate inheritance tax. This decision may disappoint certain Conservative members who have advocated for its removal, but the current focus remains on homeownership and tax breaks in other areas.


Prime Minister’s Comments:

In his commentary, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledges the challenges faced by many aspiring homeowners under current market conditions. He emphasizes the government’s commitment to enabling more people to own homes, reflecting on the personal significance of homeownership and its role in providing financial security and a stake in society.


Sunak’s statement highlights the importance of individual property ownership as a foundation of financial stability and personal freedom, echoing sentiments from previous Conservative leaders about the value of homeownership in fostering a sense of ownership and investment in the community.


Below is a word-for-word summary of what these pages cover:


“We will deliver a secure future for communities by giving more people a better chance of living where they would like – near their family, friends and job. We have delivered over 2.5 million homes since 2010, including meeting our commitment to deliver one million homes in the last Parliament. Home ownership rates plummeted under the last Labour Government so we cannot afford to go back to square one. We will deliver 1.6 million homes in England in the next Parliament by:

“- Abolishing the legacy EU ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules to immediately unlock the building of 100,000 new homes with local consent, with developers required in law to pay a one-off mitigation fee so there is no net additional pollution.

“- Delivering a record number of homes each year on brownfield land in urban areas. We will do this by providing a fast- track route through the planning system for new homes on previously developed land in the 20 largest cities. Strong design codes will ensure this enables the gentle densification of urban areas, with new family homes and mansion-blocks on tree- lined streets built in the local character. We will look at extending ‘full expensing’ to the delivery of brownfield housing.

“- Raising density levels in inner London to those of European cities like Paris and Barcelona. We will ensure the London Plan delivers more family homes a year, forcing the Mayor to plan for more homes on brownfield sites, like underused industrial land. We will regenerate major sites like Euston, Old Oak Common and Thamesmead.

– Unlocking new urban regeneration schemes, by creating locally-led urban development corporations in partnership with the private sector and institutional investors. We will support the delivery of new quarters in Leeds, Liverpool and York alongside working with local leaders and the community to seize the opportunity of our ambitious Cambridge 2050 plan.

“- Supporting local and smaller builders by requiring councils to set land aside for them and lifting Section 106 burdens on more smaller sites, while ruling out Labour’s proposed ‘community right to appeal’ which would bring the planning system to its knees.

“- Making sure local authorities use the new Infrastructure Levy to deliver the GP surgeries, roads and other local infrastructure needed to support homes. We will not allow these funds to be spent on community projects that bear no relation to support for new homes.

“- Renewing the Affordable Homes Programme that will deliver homes of all tenures and focus on regenerating and improving housing estates.

“- Retaining our cast-iron commitment to protect the Green Belt from uncontrolled development, while ensuring more homes get built where it makes sense, like in inner cities. Our national planning protections mean there is never any top-down requirement for councils to remove Green Belt protection and these will remain in place.

“A plan to support first-time buyers onto the housing ladder and ensure fairness in our housing system

“As well as building the homes we need, we will also take immediate steps to support more people onto the housing ladder. We will ensure the majority of first-time buyers pay no Stamp Duty at all, lowering the upfront costs of buying a first home. We will make permanent the increase to the threshold at which first-time buyers pay Stamp Duty to £425,000 from £300,000, which we introduced in 2022.

“We will also launch a new and improved Help to Buy scheme to provide first-time buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% towards the cost of a new build home. First-time buyers will be able to get onto the housing ladder with a 5% deposit on interest terms they can afford. The scheme will be part funded by contributions from house builders.

“We will also continue our Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, which has already helped over 40,000 households buy a home, while supporting more families to buy through shared ownership.

“We will always prioritise giving those who work hard and contribute to our country a leg up in the housing market. We will legislate for new ‘Local Connection’ and ‘UK Connection’ tests for social housing in England, to ensure this valuable but limited resource is allocated fairly. And we will implement a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ expectation of social housing landlords for anti-social behaviour. They will be expected to evict tenants whose behaviour is disruptive to neighbours and the local community.

“We will protect family homes from higher tax. Under the Family Home Tax Guarantee, we will not increase the number of council tax bands, undertake an expensive council tax revaluation or cut council tax discounts, as Labour is currently doing in Wales. We will maintain Private Residence Relief so that people’s homes are protected from Capital Gains Tax and we will not increase the rate or level of Stamp Duty to support homeowners.    

“To further support homeowners, we will introduce a two-year temporary Capital Gains Tax relief for landlords who sell to their existing tenants. We rule out Labour’s anti-aspiration move to drastically reduce Right to Buy discounts to levels seen under the last Labour Government. We will protect the laws that ensure the discounts rise with inflation and fight any plan by local authorities to abolish the Right to Buy altogether.

“We will complete the process of leasehold reform, to improve the lives of over four million leaseholders. We will cap ground rents at £250, reducing them to peppercorn over time. We will end the misuse of forfeiture so leaseholders don’t lose their property and capital unfairly and make it easier to take up commonhold.

“We will pass a Renters Reform Bill that will deliver fairness in the rental market for landlords and renters alike. We will deliver the court reforms necessary to fully abolish Section 21 and strengthen other grounds for landlords to evict private tenants guilty of anti-social behaviour.

“We will continue with our plans to end rough sleeping and prevent people from ending up on the streets in the first place, after making significant progress over the last few years. We will deliver our commitments under the Local Authority Housing Fund and review the quality of temporary accommodation.

“After delivering landmark new laws that freed leaseholders from cladding bills following on from the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower, we will continue our support for leaseholders affected by historic building safety problems by requiring the continuation of developer- funded remediation programmes for mid- and high-rise buildings.

“We will ensure councils have the powers they need to manage the uncontrolled growth of holiday lets, which can cause nuisance to local residents and a hollowing out of communities.

“We will support those who want to build or commission their own home by making the planning process simpler, while also supporting more community housing schemes. We will encourage the building of different forms of housing, particularly housing for older people.

“Building on our new powers for the police, we will further speed up the use and enforcement of powers to remove illegal traveller sites, while giving councils greater planning powers to prevent unauthorised development by travellers.”

* Tomorrow we will provide similar coverage of the housing elements of the Labour manifesto *



Tory Proposals on Rental and Housing Policy Explained

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