The Liberal Democrats launched its manifesto yesterday ahead of next month’s general election pledging to deliver 300,000 new homes a year, reinstate housing benefit for 18-21 year olds, recently scrapped by the government, while also promoting a rental scheme under which people can build up equity with every monthly payment and eventually own their property outright after 30 years.
But while the party’s proposed measures would almost certainly help boost demand for property, they do not necessarily address what has been described as the “root cause of the problem” – a chronic housing shortage, according to Dan Gandesha, founder of property investment marketplace Property Partner.
He said: “They [the Lib Dems] clearly recognise the severity of the housing crisis and the need to help young people without high incomes, and the homeless. We support that.
“Particularly sage is the attention to the growing rental sector. The policy of ‘help to rent’ acknowledges that both renting and buying have become unaffordable for the lower earning, typically younger members of society.
“However, they have focused on demand-led policies which support each individual’s ability to buy or rent. They have not sufficiently addressed the root cause of the problem - a lack of supply.
“We need a large scale increase in supply across all forms of housing tenure. This is the only true solution to the housing crisis.”