Labour plan to offer local first-time buyers half-price new homes

Property developers would be FORCED to sell new homes to local first-time buyers in key jobs at HALF the market price under Labour plans to help young people get on the housing ladder

  • Housebuilders would be required to provide at least 50,000 homes nationwide 
  • Discounts linked to local wages for public and private sector ‘key workers’
  • Labour would also introduce a charter of renters’ rights for tenants

Property developers would be forced to offer homes to first-time buyers for half the market rate under Labour plans revealed today to help young people get on the housing ladder.

Housebuilders would be required to provide at least 50,000 homes at discounts linked to local wages to ‘key workers’ in both the public and private sectors, from plumbers to police officers.

The plan was unveiled today by shadow housing secretary John Healey alongside a pledge to take on ‘dodgy’ landlords and introduce a charter of renters’ rights for those who do not own their own homes.

He said: ‘Helping young first time buyers is a Labour priority but under the Conservatives young people have been locked out of the housing market.

‘Labour’s new discount homes will give hope to aspiring first time buyers on ordinary incomes who have been failed by the Tories over the last decade.

The plan was unveiled today by shadow housing secretary John Healey alongside a pledge to take on ‘dodgy’ landlords and introduce a charter of renters’ rights

‘Housing should be for the many, not the few, so a Labour government will cut the price of a first home for working people and lock in the discount to help future first time buyers too.’

Labour cited an example of a home in Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge seat costing £350,00. 

Under their scheme it would cost as little as £190,000, saving a first-time buyer £16,000 on a 10 per cent deposit and lowering their mortgage repayments.

Developers would be forced to build the discount homes as a condition of planning permission and the discount would be ‘locked in’ when the home was sold, the party said.

The party will announce a new national ‘property MOT’ to deal with what they say is the problem of squalid private rental housing.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is in Renishaw, north-east Derbyshire, this morning

Developers would be forced to build the discount homes as a condition of planning permission and the discount would be ‘locked in’ when the home was sold, the party said.

Under the plans, there would be a legal requirement for landlords to complete an independent annual inspection to ensure homes are up to scratch, and if landlords let out sub-standard properties or flout the rules they will face fines of up to £100,000 and forced repayment of rent to tenants.

Labour said its research has found that tenants collectively pay more than £10 billion a year in rent to landlords letting out sub-standard homes.

The party said that nationally one in four private rented homes are classed as ‘non-decent’, meaning they are damp, cold, in disrepair or unsafe to live in.

Labour’s private renters’ charter will be based on three key rights, including the right to an affordable rented home, with rents capped at inflation nationally, powers for further controls for areas facing run-away rents and local housing allowance increased to cover the cost of renting.

Secondly, the right to a secure rented home, with new open-ended tenancies, protecting tenants from unfair eviction, and thirdly the right to a decent rented home, with new minimum standards, backed by a new annual property MOT and fresh local enforcement powers.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘For decades renters have had to live with the fear of being evicted from their home for no reason, with damaging consequences particularly for families with children and the elderly.

‘This election marks a major step forward in the battle to secure basic protections for those who rent, as Labour and the Conservatives have made clear that they will scrap this outrageous practice, and give renters the security and stability they deserve.’

But the Residential Landlords Association claimed Labour’s plans could close down the private rented sector, leading to more homelessness.

David Smith, policy director for the landlords’ organisation, said: ‘These proposals have not been thought through.

‘We have been at the forefront of wanting to drive criminal landlords out of the market, but to place such ill-thought out burdens on the majority of good landlords would lead to a serious rental housing crisis, which would only hurt tenants as they struggle to find a place to live.

‘The sector does not need new obligations, but better enforcement of those that already exist.

A Conservative Party spokeswoman, said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s plans have been widely condemned by housing experts and will hurt the renters they claim to want to help by hiking up rents.’

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