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Liberal Democrats unveil new policies to tackle the housing crisis

June 29, 2018 12:22 PM

In a keynote housing speech earlier this week the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable called for strict action against empty homes and for reforms to make it easier for young people unable to get on the housing ladder.

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Jake Sampson said "There is little recognition that radical change will be necessary if the crisis in housing is to be properly addressed in our lifetime. There are millions of mainly young people, who despite being in good jobs, struggle to pay the deposits or rents required for satisfactory rented accommodation or to afford home ownership. As we build more homes, millions will continue to live in the existing stock of social housing, privately rented property, and owner-occupied property, many of them faced with poor conditions, unaffordable rents and instability."

On the challenges for the so-called "generation rent" Jake said "We need an end to exploitative, greedy, negligent or neglectful practices in the private sector, which give the majority of good landlords a bad name. The Liberal Democrats support mandatory licensing with a publicly available database of rogue landlords; promoting longer private tenancies with inflation or wage- linked rents; capping upfront deposits; and banning letting agencies' fees for tenants. For many young people of generation rent, a key issue is the high upfront cost of renting and assembling a deposit. The Liberal Democrats are advocating for loans of up to £2,000 to assist with this."