Following on from our recent report that the new Green Party policy on social housing is a victory for SHOUT, Tom Chance, who is the Green Party candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, has written a blog on Inside Housing offering more detail about the Green Goals to build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020. The party also has an ambition "to put social housing back at the heart of government policy".
Tom mentions the SHOUT campaign specifically in the blog, and again quotes from our manifesto. The blog sheds a bit more light on the financial instruments that The Greens intend to use to fund the construction of social housing. Tom suggests taking advice from "loony radicals like Shelter and KPMG" to "increase the direct investment from government."
"We propose to fund this largely by scrapping the buy-to-let mortgage interest tax allowance, a capital gains subsidy for private landlords. Savings on the benefit bill, and more broadly from improved health and employment, will also ensure that in the long term this policy is the most prudent approach."
Tom also details the Green's intention to abolish the Right To Buy, lift the borrowing cap on councils and to end austerity cuts to Local Government. There is also mention of other parts of broader housing policy "We also want to curb speculation on land and property, bring more empty homes into use and to give private tenants much more secure tenure."
It is refreshing that a political party spells out not just the need for capital investment, but also that the long-term savings to be made in the health and well-being of tenants, and the increased likelihood of people finding employment when they have a stable home is recognised.
While there are still questions about the precise details of funding for all these policy goals, the same is true of the party manifesto pledges for all parties at this stage.
The current goal of the SHOUT campaign is to commission a piece of research to detail the social and economic benefits of social housing. You can help us to do this by making a donation.