Andrew Charalambous, the UKIP Housing spokesman has attacked Tory claims on help to buy: “Successive Tory and Labour governments have profoundly failed to produce the affordable housing our country needs.
“Home-ownership is a natural ambition for millions of people and encouraging it is welcome in principle. It is therefore however very important that politicians do not offer false hope or unsustainable promises. In principle we welcome the idea of allowing housing association tenants the right-to-buy but we suspect the devil will be in the detail. We would also not support discounts for non-British nationals to buy housing association properties (apart from those who have served in HM Armed Forces).
“But today’s ONS figures on house price inflation show that it outstrips wage increase by a huge margin. Thus house prices continue to spiral upwards more and more Brits are being excluded from the property ladder.
“Worst still, we are witnessing unprecedented ‘social cleansing’ as poorer families, who have lived in areas like London and the South East for generations are being forced out by rent and price surges. Leading to the breakdown of long established communities. The consistent regional disparity in house price growth proves that we are experiencing the biggest north south divide ever in British history. Uncontrolled immigration has not only fuelled enormous demand for housing, it has caused imbalances in demand by putting radical pressure on specific regions.
“The Tory, Labour and Lib Dem answer is to let developers rip on our breathtaking countryside. So much so that the present coalition government, which touted itself as “the greenest government ever” has presided over the greatest destruction ever of our environment. Whilst the Tories have received £3.3m in donations from big Greenfield developers over the past 3 years.”
“The biggest thing politicians could do to ease the housing crisis for British people would be to cut immigration. Currently a home has to be built every seven minutes just to cater for migrant demand. The Conservatives have no plan to cut immigration.
UKIP’s answer to the affordable housing crisis:
a) Brownfield Revolution
– Decontamination assessment grants, remove stamp duty from brownfield first builds and VAT from brownfield conversion costs. Plus a system of brownfield bonds. Building 1m homes on brownfield by 2025.
b) Change the planning presumption in favour of residential in off high street office and commercial buildings.
c) Merge planning and building control departments in local authorities. Expediting, simplifying and cutting the cost and bureaucracy involved in the planning and construction process.