Greens call for a fair housing deal to protect homeowners and eradicate homelessness

The Greens would bring back into use Britain’s 300,000 long-term empty private sector homes, and renovate Britain’s 37,000 empty council homes to help cut waiting lists.

Keith M Ross, Green Party Candidate for Swansea West, said, “Britain has a shortage of affordable and good quality housing to buy or rent. At the same time many homeowners are in danger of losing their properties in the recession and homelessness is still affecting thousands of people.

“The Green Party will fight for a fair housing deal for all. We want to make it easier for people to get on the property ladder, to protect homeowners and to eradicate homelessness for good.

“People facing severe difficulties with paying their mortgage and facing repossession because of the recession should have a right to rent their existing home as council housing the very opposite of the Tory ‘right to buy’, which we would scrap.”

Green Party proposals for housing include:

· Building a new generation of quality council homes
· Supporting the development of housing co-ops
· Bringing back into use Britain’s 300,000 long-term empty private sector homes
· Renovating Britain’s 37,000 empty council homes to help cut waiting lists · Giving social housing tenants greater control over the management of their homes and neighbourhoods
· Improving the quality of housing stock to help reduce household bills · Helping people at risk of repossession keep their homes via a Right to Rent scheme.

Keith Ross continued, “The Green Party would resume direct investment in council and other social housing and allow local authorities to use receipts from sales to fund new affordable accommodation. In particular, while the building trade remains depressed because of the recession we would provide £2bn in 2010 rising to £4bn in 2011 to local authorities to expand social housing, mainly through conversion and renovation. This would have the added benefit of creating 80,000 new jobs.”

The Green Party Manifesto for the General Election also contains a commitment to introduce a free home insulation programme for all homes that need it, with priority for pensioners and those living in fuel poverty, aiming to insulate 4 million homes every year.

Green Councillors worked in partnership with energy companies to provide free insulation for households in Kirklees, Yorkshire, in a scheme that has created more than 128 jobs and new training facilities.

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