A common thread among all the main political parties is that housing is in short supply and not enough of it is affordable. Like the other parties, UKIP pledges to redress the shortage.
Within the UKIP manifesto there is no mention of the actual number of homes that would be built or by when. The closest reference is a statement that says up to 2.5 million homes could be built on brownfield sites!
Here’s what UKIP plans to do, if they win the general election.
- Place a statutory duty on local authorities to bring empty homes back into use. In addition, if a home is empty for more than two years, the own will be charged 50% more than the applicable rate of council tax, (except owners in HM Armed Forces).
- Require the Environment Agency to keep a national register of brownfield sites.
- Encourage developers to build on brownfield sites by offering grants of up to £10,000 per unit to carry out remediation work.
- Give grants to developers who build on decontaminated land to cover the cost of indemnity insurance. There are no details of how much this might cost.
- Exempt properties built on brownfield sites from stamp duty on the first sale, up to £250,000.
- Allow local authorities to keep the New Homes Bonus beyond six years on brownfield sites. The New Homes Bonus is a government scheme aimed at encouraging local authorities to grant planning permission for the building of new houses in return for additional review.
- Identify and release for affordable development long-term dormant land held by central and local government.
- Change planning regulations to allow the conversion of non-residential buildings into affordable homes.
- Use revenue from Right to Buy sales to create new community housing.