Housing & the Environment

Liberal Democrats are determined that we live up to our environmental obligations and that we transform the housing market so that everyone has a fair opportunity to have a safe, decent and affordable home.

Housing

Liberal Democrat proposals to help home buyers, home renters, and the homeless  include

  • A government commissioned programme to build homes for sale and rent to make sure we reach the house building target of 300,000 homes a year that the country needs but the housing market is currently not delivering
  • Stop forcing housing association and councils to sell off ‘high value’ homes.
  • Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing.
  • Help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
  • Ban lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.
  • Reverse cuts to housing benefit for 18-21-year-olds
  • Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’
  • Set up a new Help to Rent scheme with government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
  • Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing of landlords and allowing tenants to access the database of rogue landlords and property agents.
  • End the scandal of rough sleeping by increasing support for homelessness prevention and adequately funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing, and  ensuring that all local authorities have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, entrenched homeless people so that homeless people can get long term homes, not just hostel places

The environment

To help protect and enhance our environment Liberal Democrats are campaigning to:

  • Support the Paris agreement by ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in international efforts to combat climate change.
  • Expand renewable energy, aiming to generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030, restoring government support for solar PV and onshore wind
  • Support investment in cutting-edge technologies including energy storage,smart grid technology, hydrogen technologies, offshore wind, and tidal power
  • Giving the go-ahead for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon
  • Support an ambitious carbon capture and storage programme,
  • Oppose ‘fracking’ because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment.
  • Ensure that at least four million homes are made highly energy efficient by 2022, with priority given to fuel-poor households. 5
  • Continue to back new entrants to the energy market, aiming for at least 30% of the household market to be supplied by competitors to the ‘Big 6’ by 2022.
  • Set new legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040 and to zero by 2050.
  • Set up a Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to mobilise investment into the low-carbon and sustainable infrastructure the UK needs to remain competitive.
  • Introduce stronger penalties for animal cruelty offences, increasing the maximum sentencing from six months to five years, and bring in a ban on caged hens.
  • Clamp down on illegal pet imports through legal identification requirements for online sales, and minimise the use of animals in scientific experimentation, including by funding research into alternatives.
  • Pass a Zero-Waste Act, including legally binding targets for reducing net consumption of key natural resources, and introducing incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.
  • Establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70% in England and extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2022.
  • Introduce a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups – the unrecyclable plastic liner contents of these cups is a serious problem