The Liberal Democrats today set out plans to bring a quarter of a million empty homes back into use, making homes available for people who need them and creating 65,000 jobs. There are over 760,000 empty properties across England which are no longer used as homes but can be brought back into use with some investment. People who own these homes will get a grant or a cheap loan to renovate them so they can be used: grants if the home is for social housing, loans for private use.
The plans form part of the economic stimulus package outlined as a core principle of the Liberal Democrat election manifesto. In the first year of the new Parliament, the party would redirect over £3.6bn of spending to create jobs and build up Britain’s infrastructure. In the following years this money will be redirected to other Lib Dem spending priorities and reducing the structural deficit.
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg today launched the plans with Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable and Liberal Democrat Shadow Housing Minister, Sarah Teather. Visiting the College of North West London, they met students on construction and engineering courses who would benefit from these new plans.
Commenting, Nick Clegg said: “Allowing thousands of houses to sit empty when millions of families have been waiting years for a home is nothing short of a scandal. These plans are a clear example of where Liberal Democrat priorities lie: creating jobs and providing more family homes.
“The cost of bringing these homes back into use is just a fraction of the cost of building new ones, yet the Government is sitting idly by while they fall into disrepair.
“This is one element of our economic stimulus package that will generate jobs and help Britain on its way to building a fair, sustainable economy.”