We don't have council elections in Brent until 2025 but given the housing crisis and the debate over affordability I thought readers may be interested in Green Party policy on this issue which was publicised in the context of tomorro'w local elections eleswhere in the country.
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said:
We need councillors and national government to work together to deliver the homes people need and can afford to rent and buy, where people need them.
Today, speculators and developers are allowed to chase the biggest profits and ignore local needs. Too many villages and towns have seen large-scale developments take place without the community infrastructure expanded alongside, such as GP surgeries, bus services, cycling and walking networks and nurseries and schools.
What we need is local councils supported to build quality, affordable housing in the right places where people live and work, with the right supporting infrastructure and local facilities.
Our Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter will simultaneously protect valuable green space for communities, reduce climate emissions, tackle fuel poverty and provide genuinely affordable housing.
We’ve seen how Green councillors have made a difference in Mid Suffolk, where developers are now expected to provide EV points, not connect to the gas grid and provide heat pumps as standard.
The villages of Suffolk and Norfolk are facing the same problems as much of the rest of the country - developers being allowed to build houses local people often can’t afford and failing to ensure local services like buses and GP surgeries get the investment they need.
Developers are being allowed to ride roughshod over the needs of communities and the environment and this has got to stop.”
Co-leader Carla Denyer, who is a serving councillor and Parliamentary candidate in Bristol, said:
Up and down the country, people are experiencing the same problems as people here in Stowmarket - homes that are unaffordable to buy, unaffordable to rent and unaffordable to heat. There is a generation of people who are trapped in the private rental market by spiralling rents that bear no relationship to incomes.
To address this, in the short term, we would introduce an immediate rent freeze and eviction ban to prevent people being made homeless in the middle of this cost of living crisis, as the Scottish Greens have already done as part of the Scottish Government.
In the longer term, we would give councils the power to bring in rent controls in areas where the housing market is overheated. We would also place much stricter controls on the type of new homes bein
Everyone deserves a place that they can call home. That is why our Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter will deliver the change we want to see across the housing sector and create fairer, greener communities.
The Greens’ Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter would:
End the housing crisis by creating enough affordable homes – including 100,000 new council homes a year built to the Passivhaus or equivalent standard
Empower local authorities to bring empty homes back into use
Transform the planning system to:
Incentivise renovation and improvement of existing buildings to reduce the environmental impact of new construction
Incentivise local authorities to spread small developments across their areas, where appropriate, rather than building huge new estates
Protect valuable green space for communities
Require new developments to be accompanied by the extra investment needed in local services, such as providing extra school and GP places and better bus services
Transform building regulations to ensure:
all new private and public sector housing meets Passivhaus or equivalent standards
house builders include solar panels and heat pumps on all new homes.
Ensure all new developments will be located and designed to ensure that residents do not need cars to live a full life
Introduce rent controls
End no-fault evictions