York Green Party

Greens pledge 500,000 new affordable homes

6 February 2015

The Green Party candidate for York Central, Jonathan Tyler, spoke out today in support of the Greens' manifesto pledge to build 500,000 social rented homes nationwide by 2020.

He said: "The Green Party always goes to the root of problems instead of tinkering at the edges or pandering to vested interests.  So our housing policy will remove the perverse incentives that have created the subsidy bonanza for landlords. We will reinvigorate the social housing sector, bringing empty properties back into use and concentrating new housing to the greatest possible extent on brownfield sites."

"These policies will help those who now struggle to find affordable housing, and the whole community will benefit from a fairer system that is not distorted by private developers".

The Green Party's pledge to boost social housing aims to tackle Britain's housing crisis, exacerbated by the policies of the current Conservative-led government. House prices have increased by 10 per cent on last year and 1.8 million people are currently on waiting lists for social housing. Around 4,000 households[1] are currently on the waiting list of social housing in York. The Greens' proposal would help to reduce this without the massive over-development resulting from depending on private developers, who provide a small proportion of affordable housing in new developments.

Ginnie Shaw, the Green Party's York Outer Parliamentary candidate added: "As a housing professional who has worked in a paid and voluntary capacity to find remedies to housing problems, nationally and locally, I am delighted that the Green Party has announced a commitment to build 500,000 new social rented homes by 2020.  We have to tackle the country's housing problems from all angles, addressing housing need for the poorest members of society in particular and the Green administration in Brighton has shown that it is possible".

The Green Party would ensure that the provision of much-needed new housing would not come at the expense of protecting Britain's environment. Reforming planning laws would ensure that councils can build houses in appropriate places – without spoiling the country's beautiful green spaces.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said: "We need to move away from regarding houses as primarily financial assets and go back to regarding them as homes. This policy is an important step in that direction."

The pledge to build 500,000 new social rented homes would sit alongside other Green Party policies such as bringing empty homes back into use, improved rights for private tenants, ending right-to-buy, and introducing rent controls. Affordable, secure housing is a fundamental right – these policies would ensure that Britain's housing market works in the common good.


1. Housing charity Shelter quotes 3,739 households on the waiting list in 2013 (the last year for which we have figures)

Read more on the national Green Party website.

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