The Federation of Master Builders

A brick by brick breakdown of housing manifestos

Published date: 30 May 2017

Housing is one of the biggest issues in the 2017 general election – and it should be to ensure everyone has a place to sleep at night. But with previous governments failing to close the housing gap, particularly social housing, the UK risk worsening the housing crisis and homelessness. With the general election is approaching, how do the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems plan to fix this issue and do you really know which party you should bet your house on?


  • To build a million homes by the end of 2020, with a another 500,000 by 2022
  • Promise to build “a new generation of social housing”
  • New “council housing deals” to allow local authorities to build more social housing
  • To let councils pay a lower price for the land to build on, forcing landowners to give up their assets for less
  • “Fixed-term social houses” will soon return to the market, with these homes being sold privately after 10 to 15 years with an automatic Right to Buy.


  • Pledge to build at least 100,000 council and housing association homes built every year.
  • Create a new Department of Housing, with its own dedicated minister.
  • To remove the restrictions on councils building their own homes for rent.
  • Scrap the Conservatives’ ban on long-term tenancies, abolish the bedroom tax and end the right to buy, except where councils can prove that one-for-one replacements are possible, as well as reinstate housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds
  • To make 4,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping
  • Developers will be told to build “zero carbon” buildings
  • Four million homes will be insulated and 0%-interest loans offered to homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements. 

Lib Dems

  • Proposing a “rent to buy” scheme, which will provide government-backed loans to let people raise a deposit
  • Mention of considering land value taxation
  • Establish a new national Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank
  • Increase house building to 300,000 homes a year by 2022
  • Allow councils to end the right to buy, lift the borrowing cap to get them building again and target “buy to leave” empty homes with a 200% council tax
  • 4 million homes will be insulated by 2022
  • Implement a “use it or lose it” policy, with a penalty on failure to build after three years of winning planning permission
  • Introduce a “community right of appeal” in cases where planning decisions go against the approved local plan.


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