April 5, 2024 4:10 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

In the local election manifesto of the Green Party of England and Wales, rent controls take center stage as a critical measure to tackle the ongoing housing crisis. Co-leader Carla Denyer underscores the severity of the situation, pointing out that more than a million households are currently on council waiting lists. Moreover, the average home for sale in England now commands a price tag exceeding eight times the annual average household earnings, reflecting the profound affordability challenges faced by many.

Denyer emphasizes the pressing need for action to address these issues comprehensively. By prioritizing rent controls, the Green Party aims to provide relief to renters grappling with skyrocketing housing costs and precarious living conditions. This manifesto stance signals a commitment to implementing policies that promote fairness and affordability in the housing market, offering hope for a more equitable future for renters across England and Wales.


Green policies include: 

  • Implementing rent controls to stabilize overheated rental markets, ensuring fair rents and abolishing no-fault evictions.
  • Ceasing the Right to Buy scheme to enable local councils to maintain affordable housing stock within communities perpetually.
  • Establishing a ‘community right to buy’ initiative, granting priority to councils, housing associations, and community housing groups to purchase designated properties, including former social housing acquired under Right to Buy, properties requiring energy efficiency upgrades, or those left vacant for an extended period.
  • Allocating funds to councils for the development of affordable social housing and easing constraints on council borrowing for housebuilding, aiming to provide a minimum of 150,000 additional council homes annually through various means such as new construction, renovation, conversions, and acquisition of existing properties.
  • In London, the Green Party is pushing for a significant overhaul of the rental market, advocating for a ‘Living Rent’ initiative. This proposal aims to ensure that median local rents remain within 35% of the local median take-home pay, effectively curbing excessive rental burdens on residents. By tethering rental costs to income levels, the party aims to address the growing concerns over affordability and accessibility in London’s housing market.

Moreover, the Green Party seeks to decentralize rent control powers, advocating for London politicians to have jurisdiction over rental regulations. This move aims to empower local authorities to tailor rent control measures to the specific needs and dynamics of London’s diverse neighborhoods. By devolving control to local levels, the party hopes to implement more targeted and responsive policies that align with the unique challenges faced by different communities across the capital.

In addition to the proposed Living Rent scheme and decentralization of rent control powers, the Green Party is calling for a two-year rent freeze in London. This temporary measure aims to provide relief to renters facing escalating housing costs, offering them a period of stability and respite from the relentless upward pressure on rents. By implementing a rent freeze, the party aims to mitigate the financial strain on tenants and create a more predictable rental market environment.

Furthermore, the Green Party proposes the establishment of a Rent Commission dedicated to examining ways to reduce private rents in London. This commission would undertake a comprehensive review of the factors driving rental prices and explore strategies to make housing more affordable for residents. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders, including tenants, landlords, and policymakers, the Rent Commission aims to develop evidence-based solutions that address the root causes of high rents and promote fairness in the rental market.

Co-leader Adrian Ramsay underscores the Green Party’s dedication to their “Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price” charter, designed to overhaul the planning system. This initiative prioritizes the construction of environmentally sustainable homes on brownfield sites. It also mandates that all new developments must include investments in local amenities, such as schools, healthcare facilities, enhanced public transport options, and infrastructure to promote walking and cycling.

Furthermore, Ramsay stresses the importance of ensuring that new homes are built to the highest environmental standards. This entails a concerted effort to utilize brownfield sites effectively while requiring developers to contribute to local services. The charter advocates for comprehensive planning that not only addresses housing needs but also integrates sustainable practices and community development initiatives into every stage of the construction process.




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