Considering the Hung Parliament result in the general election last week, and the subsequent agreement in whatever format it evolves to for the Conservatives to work with the DUP, it is worth a closer look at the DUP policies that concern the Housing Market and the Private Rental Sector.
From the DUP website on Policies >> http://www.mydup.com/policies/creating-stronger-communities
- “BULK BUYING FROM PRIVATE SECTOR LANDLORDS
The DUP wants to drive up standards in the private landlord sector. It will introduce a bulk-renting scheme from combines of private landlord properties. In return for a guarantee of income the properties entered into the scheme must be equipped and maintained to higher standards.
- REINTRODUCE A ‘LIVING OVER THE SHOPS’ SCHEME
The future of our town centres does not depend solely upon enhancing their retail offering. Town centres must become places where people do more than shop. They must become places where people live as well. We will further develop the work already started to reintroduce the previously successful ‘Living Over the Shop’ scheme where landlords were assisted in converting space above shops or offices into residential accommodation.
- INCREASING INVESTMENT IN NEW SOCIAL & AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The case for investment in social housing is an unarguable one. House building has a hugely positive impact upon the local economy, creating and sustaining jobs not just in the construction sector, but also in professional services and retail. A safe, secure and warm home also produces health and educational benefits. The DUP commits to delivering a further 8,000 social and affordable housing units by 2020.
- COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS FOR AFFORDABLE HOMES
Community Land Trusts are a long-term solution to the issue of affordability and assist in community regeneration. Land prices are a key component in driving up property prices. This model places the land in trust and thus removes it from the cost of the home. Future selling prices are linked to a multiple of local incomes which allows the owner to see appreciation of their investment but still maintaining any re-sale price at an accessible level. The DUP will introduce schemes in different property hot spots across Northern Ireland.
- RE-BIRTH OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND HOUSING EXECUTIVE (NIHE)
The DUP supports the transformation of the NIHE to a strategic housing body. This should include the transfer of its stock to fully utilise assets to make social housing more self-financing. In addition, the NIHE would receive additional powers to tackle the issue of empty homes.”