Labour has revealed several key housing policies so far at its Liverpool national conference including an additional tax on holiday homes, a £20m fund to support the growth of renters’ unions and an end to ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions.
The party’s Shadow Housing Minister John Healey (pictured, above) says he wants to make owners of second homes in the UK whether for investment or for holidays to pay an additional tax.
Healey is proposing to introduce a national levy on second homes equivalent to double the current rate of council tax which, in some areas of the UK would add up to several thousand pounds a year.
Labour claims that there are 174,000 second homes in the UK that ‘sit empty for most of the year’ and that a ‘small tax’ could generate an additional £560 million to directly fund getting homeless families into permanent accommodation.
“We know that nine in 10 second-home owners are in the top half of the wealth distribution, so it’s only right that they pay a bit more to help those with no home at all, he said yesterday.
“Tackling housing inequality will be at the heart of our plans to fix the country’s housing crisis and give everyone the chance of a place to call home.”
Healey has also revealed that Labour would encourage the spread of Renters’ Unions with a £20m fund. Several renters’ unions are already active in UK cities where there are large student populations including Brighton Newcastle, Bristol and Sheffield including the largest, Acorn.