Housing

There is a housing crisis in Southwark. We have three proposals to fix it:

 

1. A new model for new homes with rents based on one third of your income

Southwark Labour is making the housing crisis worse. Allowing developers to build 100% luxury flats – more than a quarter sold overseas – is destroying the mixed communities that make Southwark special.

Liberal Democrats will build homes for low and middle income earners to rent at one third of their income and make developers do the same.

 

Who is eligible?

 

 

–      Any Southwark resident(s) who has lived in the area for 2 years or more and has a household income of no more than £60,000.

How will incomes be mixed?

–      An even balance of low, middle and upper-middle income residents and tenancy lengths will be required. We will change council planning policy to ensure developers use a third-of-incomes model.

How will it be funded?

 

–      We will Borrow-to-build from the Public Works Loan Board, using council-owned land via a council-owned housing company. Guarantee loans for social landlords to build.

How much will I pay?

–      Rent will be set at 1/3 of a household’s gross income.

 

2. Bring empty homes back into use

There are almost 6,000 homes sitting empty in Southwark. 1 in 7 are council homes.

Liberal Democrats will ramp-up the use of council powers on empty homes – and fight for new ones.

Triple tax

 

–      We will make this our number one demand from national government – triple council tax on empty homes.

Enforcement unit

–      Create a unit to enforce Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs). This tool allows councils to take over (and rent out) unused homes.

Compulsory purchase

 

–      Use compulsory purchase powers to buy and let out long-term empty homes – setting the rent at 1/3 of a tenant’s income.

Prioritise the turnaround of empty council houses

–      In Southwark it takes 4 months to renovate council flats. In Tower Hamlets it takes 3 weeks. We will set a re-letting target of 1 month.

3. Stop selling off council homes

Since 2010, Southwark Labour has built and let fewer than 200 council homes, but sold or demolished over 2,000.

Other than what's forced under Right to buy, the Liberal Democrats will not sell off any individual council homes.