Conservatives pledge 1.5m homes by 2022

The Conservative Party has pledged to build 1.5m homes by 2022, also putting forward plans to end rough sleeping by 2027.


Theresa May has announced a target of building 1.5m homes by 2022, as the parties ramp up their supply targets.

Like Labour earlier this week, May set out her plans in Yorkshire, where she promised economic security from “strong and stable leadership”.

Under a pledge to “build a better Britain,” May has committed her party to creating good quality, affordable housing.

RELATED: Housing reacts to Conservative manifesto

The manifesto does commit to “social housing” too, saying: “We will never achieve the number of new homes we require without the active participation of social and municipal housing providers.

“We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing.”

However, there is a caveat, with the following sentence being: “We will build new fixed-term social houses, which will be sold privately after 10 to 15 years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants.”

There was some noise in the manifesto for housing associations too, where the Conservatives seemingly answered the National Housing Federation call for rent freedom.

It says: “We will also give greater flexibility to housing associations to increase their housing stock, building on their considerable track record in recent years.”

There is also a potential veiled reference to the Right to Buy for housing associations, as the manifesto states: “We will continue to support those who struggle to buy or rent a home, including those living in a home owned by a housing association.”

In essence, the manifesto commitments will take forward plans set out in the White Paper, Fixing the Broken Housing Market, which remains committed to home ownership.

The party said: “Too many ordinary working families are stuck on council waiting lists, facing unaffordable rents and struggling to save for that first deposit.”

The manifesto also sets out to halve the numbers of rough sleepers over the course of the parliament, with aims to eliminate it completely by 2027.

In a positive move that will appease many charities in the homelessness sector, the manifesto commits to giving the Housing First approach a pilot.

Like their two main rivals, the Conservatives are committed to building thousands of new homes.

With Labour promising a minimum of one million new homes over the next five years, at least half to be council or housing association properties, and the Lib Dems committing to 300,000 homes a year for sale and rent by the end of the parliament, there seems to be a race on to see how many new homes a party can promise to build.

The Green Party have also pledged to build 500,000 social homes as they launched their election priorities.

The party also plans a shake up of social care, with plans promising that no one will have to sell their home to fund their care.

Instead, cost of care will be taken from their estate when they die, if it is worth at least £100,000.

In detail:

A Conservative government would give councils and housing associations funding and make available housebuilding capability from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Councils would be able to assemble land, including derelict buildings or unused pocket sites, more easily under reformed compulsory purchase rules.

The deals would require a proportion of the social homes built to be sold after 10 to 15 years, allowing increases in land and housing value to be reinvested in new social housing over time. The tenant would receive the first Right to Buy on the property at the point of sale.

And because some of these homes will be sold after a limited period, this will ensure that developers consider the private value of homes, improving quality, and return funding for new social homes.

The Conservative Party said: “We will fix the broken housing market and support local authorities and housing associations to build a new generation of council homes right across the country.

“We will offer to support the most ambitious councils and housing associations build thousands of new homes, in exchange for them building a new generation of fixed-term, high-quality council homes linked to a new Right to Buy for social tenants.”

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