With manifestos published and TV interview drama (or lack thereof) in full flow, the homebuilding industry awaits with baited breath as we enter the final few days before the General Election 2019 – which party will get the keys to Downing Street, and which parties’ election promises will be honoured?
We’ve already reviewed the General Election 2019 manifestos from Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats, but for those self builders, renovators and extenders yet to decide on who to cast their vote for on 12 December, we’ve compiled the salient promises in this guide.
The Conservative Party may have failed spectacularly in its bid to build 300,000 new houses per year, but it is the only major political party to have directly addressed self build it its manifesto.
The Conservatives vowed to support self builders and “support community housing by helping people who want to build their own homes find plots of land”. The details behind the pledge are sparse, but the message is encouraging nonetheless.
Furthermore, the Tories will help first-time self builders access the Help to Buy scheme using 5% deposit mortgages.
And not to be deterred by past failures, the Conservative Party reaffirmed its commitment to build at least a million more homes over the next Parliament.
Labour pledged to tackle the affordable housing crisis in the UK by building more low-cost homes and improving energy-efficiency standards.
While self build isn’t specifically mentioned in its manifesto, Labour’s promises represent positive steps for the homebuilding industry. The party will build more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers and reform Help to Buy to focus it on first-time buyers struggling to afford large deposits.
Labour hijacked the headlines following its announcement to deliver free full fibre broadband to all by 2030, but it made other notable home pledges in its manifesto. These included introducing a new zero-carbon standard for all new homes and tackling fuel poverty. Similarly to the Conservatives’ pledges, it remains to be seen how these targets will be implemented.
Like Labour, the Lib Dems announced it would adopt a zero-carbon standard on new homes and tackle fuel poverty. However, the Lib Dems took its green pledges a step further: it will invest more than £6bn a year on home insulation and zero-carbon heating by the fifth year of parliament, which will reportedly end fuel poverty by 2025, reduce emissions and cut energy bills.
The Lib Dems will also require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard by 2021, rising to Passivhaus standard by 2025.
The greenest of all the major political parties’ manifestos so far (in this list, don’t worry Green Party voters your party is up next), the Lib Dems may have struggled to capture the media spotlight in the run-up to 12 December, but its manifesto is a bright one for the homebuilding industry.
Furthermore, Jo Swinson’s party will ensure that all households and businesses have access to superfast broadband (30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload), and invest £2bn to ensure the provision of high-speed broadband across the UK.
Unsurprisingly, the Green Party’s homebuilding policies are, for want for a better word, quite green. The party will ensure that all new and renovated homes meet the highest possible energy standards, and build homes that shift to a net zero carbon economy.
The Greens will also improve home efficiency by reducing the use of natural gas for heating homes through a programme that will replace polluting boilers with renewable heat, from heat pumps and stored heat technologies.
The Green Party’s aim to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero is ambitious, and new green homes play a pivotal role in achieving this. Ultimately though, there’s little self build relevance within their manifesto; the Green’s affordable housing pledges are steered towards providing more affordable council homes.
The Greens will also end the Help to Buy programme (which it says mainly served to put more money in the pockets of developers) and abolish the Right to Buy programme.