Genuinely Affordable Housing for all is one of my key priorities for this election – it is an enormously important issue for many people which is currently being ignored by the main parties.
As far as social housing in the area is concerned – I believe that we should be renewing our social housing, not selling it off to developers who have a close relationship with the Council. I strongly support the attempt of those in Knight’s Walk and in ‘Short-Life’ housing to retain their community housing.
We have seen a great deal of development in the area recently – but the new flats that are being built are not benefiting those who already live in the area and who call it home. This allies with the issues that we see in the private rented sector – over 1/3 of those living in Vauxhall are in private rented accommodation – paying ever higher rents but still having no certainty of tenure.
It is Pirate Party policy to introduce regulation on letting agents, so that they can no longer egregiously act against the tenant and in the interest of the landlord and instead would be a neutral agent. Whilst other parties may be suggesting rent caps – which are superficially attractive – they have been proven to work against the interests of tenants as it encourages black market pricing and the dangers that go alongside that.
In terms of trying to enable those that want to purchase their own home in the area – I would scrap the Tory and Lib Dem Help to Buy Scheme and cancel the Bank of England’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program. This is a way of making Credit cheap, and so encourages people to borrow ever more money and invest it in property. Far from allowing people to ‘get on the ladder’ it has just continued pushing up housing prices to even more unaffordable levels. For every person that has benefited from ‘Help to Buy’, there are 5 more that are now further than ever from being able to buy their own home due to ever increasing prices.
Finally, the Pirate Party would institute a Land Value Tax alongside Planning Reform. This is a way of taxing people’s use of land, and so is a very efficient way of getting tax payments from people who would otherwise pay nothing (foreign owners of empty flats that are just ‘parking’ money) as well as of encouraging the best use of land. It would also ensure that developers were incentivised to build and sell houses as soon as possible, as there would be a cost of ‘land-hoarding’.
I hope that you have found this response helpful and informative, but naturally if you have any further questions on this or any other issue then please do get in touch. You can e-mail me, tweet me on @Pirate_Lennon – or follow what we are doing and saying on our website
This was originally written as a response to a number of inquiries from various potential constituents expressing concern about Housing in Vauxhall and asking what the Pirate Party would do.
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