The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos all dedicated a chunky chapter to solve the housing crisis. The Green Party mentioned it in passing. The subject of building more homes was conspicuously absent from The SNP and Plaid Cymru manifestos.
UKIP’s manifesto has, perhaps deservedly, been overlooked. However, since it dutifully dedicated a chapter to building more homes and in the interests of politically unbiased journalism, we thought it only fair to give it some coverage.
Interestingly, UKIP has chosen to focus on offsite construction, something which has been overlooked by other parties. “UKIP is the only party being realistic about what can be done to increase the housing supply and putting forward a viable solution: a bold policy to roll out high quality, low cost factory- built modular (FBM) homes, affordable on the national average wage of £26,000,” it said.
Its pledges include:
- UKIP will establish a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to acquire primarily brownfield sites – at existing use value and through compulsory purchase if necessary – where affordable housing is required;
- Planning law will be changed to enable the HDC to give themselves planning permission to build between 10 and 100 FBM homes on an average site;
- Homes constructed will be sold on a freehold basis to first time buyers up to the age of 40 who are British citizens and who have a 10% deposit;
- Utilities installation would be covered by a 1% energy bill levy, and Stamp Duty would not be applied;
- Bring up to 100,000 extra truly affordable homes onto the market every year.
“Combined with a traditional home building programme, we could build another one million homes by 2022,” it said. “In addition, the FBM model would also make it feasible to deliver substantial numbers of new council houses that have been promised, while traditional methods do not.”
In addition to its FBM homes programme, UKIP pledges to identify long-term dormant land held by central and local government so it can be released for affordable developments. It says it will also plough all revenue raised from Right to Buy sales into community housing and change the law to allow mortgages to become inheritable.