What kind of place will Britain be for homeowners if the Green Party achieve election success in May? We asked their spokesperson Tom Chance what his party planned to do for homeowners if they capitalise on their growth in popularity.
1. In general terms, what would a Green Party election win mean for home owners across the country?
For anyone looking to buy their first home, or move ‘up the ladder’ to a larger family home, we would bring some hope of an end to ever-rising prices and the risks of repossession.
On that second point, we would introduce a Right to Rent, which would enable anyone behind on their mortgage repayments to negotiate the ability to rent their home from the lender or their council while they get back on a stable financial footing. So they would not be kicked out of their home.
2. And what would it mean for those in your constituency?
Prices in Lewisham West & Penge have risen to obscene levels in recent years, as part of the London property boom. Many will be unable to afford a larger home, or will be concerned about negative equity if the boom turns to another bust. So they need more hope than most, which we could deliver.
3. What Do you propose to do about ever increasing house prices and the difficulty of being a first-time buyer?
We must stop trying to help first-time buyers with policies that push prices up. That is what this government has done with Help to Buy, and the last Labour government did with similar policies. The Green Party would aim to stabilise prices in cash terms, and give private tenants far more security of tenure with rent controls. These would mean that, over time, it would become easier to buy your first home. We need long-term solutions, not self-defeating quick fixes.
4. What is the Green’s policy on heating?
We have some of the lowest energy prices in Europe, but the most leaky homes, so it feels like energy is very expensive. So the Green Party would hugely increase direct investment in insulating homes, dramatically reducing the amount of heating that people need.
Read our analysis on what election wins for all the major political parties will mean for Britain’s homeowners here.