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Housing – #GE2024

We’ve written to candidates standing for election in South West Norfolk to ask them four key questions. See our series of #GE2024 articles for their responses to these four topics. Second up is the topic of housing.

We asked the candidates: Many young people are priced out of home ownership, the so-called Generation Rent, and rents increased by record levels this year. On the sharpest edge, homelessness jumped by 16% last year. How will you ensure that everyone has access to affordable and high quality housing?

Here’s what they had to say…

Terry Jermy – Labour Party

The Tories slashed the national budget for social housing in 2010. We need to restore national funding to organisations such as Homes England to boost social and affordable housing growth. And we need to reform our planning system – I support a community-led planning system rather than a developer-led one so that we’re able to get the homes needed into communities, not just the homes that developers want to build. If elected, I would campaign on a review of service charges for new developments which are often disproportionate and unaffordable and contribute to the cost of living crisis. Read more here.

Lorraine Douglas – Communist Party of Britain

I spent most of my working life in public sector housing, latterly working in a London local authority managing their homeless accommodation portfolio. Most of the homeless households who were in temporary accommodation were in ex right-to-buy council homes, now owned by buy-to-let landlords charging over 3 times the council rent. There are 250,000 empty homes and around a million second homes & holiday lets in the country. The right to buy has resulted in over 2 million council homes being lost. Private developers and landowners control the supply of housing – and refuse to build what local communities actually need – genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy. Local communities in Norfolk don’t need more developments of executive homes – we need council homes, and low cost home ownership schemes that don’t leave leaseholders subject to rip-off service charges. We support a mass council-house building programme, an end to homelessness by requiring councils to assist every homeless person into a suitable home, rent controls in the private rented sector and an end to no-fault evictions. We need to ensure that all housing developments are designed to meet the needs of the community and to provide affordable housing options for young people. Read more here.

Toby McKenzie – Reform UK

Stop mass immigration for a start (illegal too of course). Something like 680,000 extra people lived here in the UK last year alone. They have to live somewhere, this is pushing up demand/prices and ending this is necessary. Affordable houses are not affordable. There are smaller homes being built in other countries and we need to look at different options and think outside the box. For me affordable is under £80,000 at least. Focus on developing brownfield sites and leave greenfield areas (not skirt around laws to overcome them). Read more here.

Elizabeth Truss – Conservative Party

Housing has become one of the most unaffordable commodities in the UK, and soaring house prices have made it harder for younger people to get on the housing ladder. It is essential we build more houses. Local communities must be given the freedom to create zones for homes with fewer restrictions and lower taxes. This is an important part of cutting the bills in this country. Cheaper housing lowers costs for families, businesses and the taxpayer. Read more here.

Josie Ratcliffe – Liberal Democrats

Having a decent, safe home is the basis for people being able to live well and fulfil their potential. We have committed to building 380,000 new homes per year across the UK, including 150,000 social homes per year, through new garden cities and community-led development of cities and towns. We would also increase rights for renters, end leaseholds, and cap ground rents, and aim to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, starting with scrapping the archaic Vagrancy Act.

Pallavi Devulapalli – Green Party

Give local authorities the power to impose rents controls on the private rental sector ensuring there are affordable homes for key and critical workers in overheated local housing markets. Some areas are still seeing rent rises of 10% even as inflation falls. Plans to work towards increasing social housing by 150,000 homes a year including by bringing empty homes back into use, and building new homes. It is going to take time and good planning to get these homes built – it won’t happen instantly. Just over 200,000 homes of all types are being built a year. We would put control back into the hand of local authorities, not in the hands of developers. We need to ensure the homes are built in areas of need, on brownfield sites, and meet the needs of the local people. We have the most poorly insulated homes in Europe. I would ask for a national home insulation programme. The cheapest bill is the one you don’t have to pay. Homes will be retro-fitted, and all new homes will be built to passivhaus standards or similar to reduce energy bills.


James Bagge (independent) was contacted but did not provide a response.

The other candidates in South West Norfolk are Earl Elvis of East Anglia for The Official Monster Raving Loony Party and Gary Conway for the Heritage Party.

Voting day is on 4th July and don’t forget to take a photo ID or ‘voter authority certificate‘ in order to vote.



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