Plaid Cymru have devoted an entire section of the manifesto towards supporting private renters, by far the most of any devolved or minor party. They pledge to introduce a new tax credit of up to 25 pounds a week for renters who spend more than 30% of their income on rent and bills, in recognition that anything above this rate is unaffordable.
The party would also create a National Housing Company which will borrow against rents to build 20,000 new homes over five years.
Housing gets a mention in the closing pages of the DUP’s manifesto, as part of the Party’s 12 Point Plan to get Northern Ireland Moving Again. The DUP pledge to take action “to bolster social housing, new approaches to affordable housing and improving quality in the private let market.” Without further detail, it’s difficult to establish what these approaches these would be and how they would affect renters.
The SNP manifesto includes changes to the benefit system which would affect renters. The party would push for Universal Credit to be paused while changes are being made, increase benefit levels in line with inflation and abolish the bedroom tax. They would also make care leavers exempt from the Shared Accommodation Rate for Housing Benefit to support them to secure and maintain a private rented tenancy.
The party has not published a full manifesto, but has made public their ‚ÄòContract with the People.’ The final section pledges to ‚Äòrebuild the housing system.’ Renting is not mentioned, and the only commitment on affordable housing is to ‚Äòallow more flexibility in the number of affordable homes within a development scheme’, presumably to enable developers to build fewer.
Make sure renting is on your local candidates’ radars – get involved at www.rentermanifesto.org