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Cllr Sandison backs Liberal Democrats proposals for affordable housing

July 1, 2018 3:53 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Neil SandisonCouncillor Neil Sandison who represents Eastlands Ward, and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, has backed radical plans set out by the Liberal Democrats to tackle the housing crisis, which include a programme of large-scale affordable housing. The measures were set out by Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, in a speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Of the 300,000 new homes a year the Government has pledged to build, Liberal Democrats believe that at least 50,000 should be social rented housing, rising to 100,000 a year as soon as possible.

Liberal Democrats want to see a big expansion in 'rent to own' and raise the quality, safety and environmental standards in existing residential properties. The party is also proposing to allow local authorities to "swop" sites of low environmental value in the Green Belt for green space in urban areas.

Other measures include strengthening the sanctions for leaving homes empty, with fiscal measures to incentivise domestic use. For example, increasing the current policy of 200% Council Tax on homes deliberately left empty to 500%.

Liberal Democrats also want to end exploitative, greedy, negligent or neglectful practices in the private sector, which give the majority of good landlords a bad name. Measures include a publicly available database of rogue landlords; capping upfront deposit and banning letting agencies' fees for tenants.

Commenting, Councillor Neil Sandison (Eastlands), who is a member of Rugby Borough Council's Planning Committee and a Councillor who was involved in the recent public examination into Rugby's Local Plan, said:

"Major developers are minimising the number of affordable homes in their planning applications. Rugby Borough Council's housing waiting list is not decreasing fast enough. These residents in particular need support and more housing opportunities. The Liberal Democrats are providing pragmatic steps that would help create more affordable homes, protect those who are renting, and help people get on the property ladder in Rugby."

Vince Cable's speech can be read in full here: