Reform Jersey sets out commitments on affordable housing ahead of the 2022 election
Following the rejection of a proposition in the States Assembly by Reform Jersey to increase the proportion of affordable homes being delivered by the government on South Hill and the Waterfront, the party has begun to set out its policies for the upcoming election.
The party has unveiled its headline election pledge on affordable housing, and several key commitments, which will constitute their ‘Action Plan’ if elected to government.
Party Leader Senator Sam Mézec said - “Jersey faces a serious housing crisis, yet the Alliance Party government has consistently opposed measures brought to the States Assembly to alleviate this crisis. In recent weeks they have even denied that there is a crisis at all. By refusing to support more affordable housing being built on publicly owned land, they have shown that they cannot be trusted to resolve this crisis and deliver the homes that Islanders need.
Reform Jersey believes that the evidence shows that increasing numbers of Islanders are struggling to afford a roof above their head, whether it is a home to own or rent. This is leading to young people leaving Jersey and businesses struggling to recruit workers. This is undoubtedly a crisis which is causing great hardship. As a party, we have worked hard to bring credible proposals to the States to address this crisis but have been opposed every time. With more Reform Jersey members in the States, we could have secured more progress. In June next year, Islanders will have an opportunity to elect States Members who will meet these challenges. We believe that our record shows that only Reform Jersey can be trusted to take the action which is necessary to resolve the housing crisis.”
The party’s headline election pledge on affordable housing will be - If elected to government, Reform Jersey will officially declare a housing crisis within the first week of office and instruct officers to begin implementing our action plan as a matter of urgency.
The full details of this action plan will be contained in the party’s 2022 election manifesto. However, it will include measures which Reform Jersey’s members have been pursuing in recent months, such as:
- Introduce European-style ‘rent stabilisation’ by banning inflationary rent increases and setting up a Rent Tribunal
- Improve long-term security for tenants by legislating to make tenancies open-ended by default
- Immediately reduce the cap on social housing rents down to 80% of the market and review moving to a means-tested system
- Introduce a landlord licensing scheme, to secure basic health and safety standards across the rental sector and remove bad landlords from the market
- Change planning rules to require 100% of the homes built on publicly owned land to be for affordable housing, instead of sold to investors
- Require private developers to reserve a proportion of the homes they build for first-time-buyers
- Tax homes which are left empty for too long, to get them back on the market
“As well as this, Reform Jersey will immediately instruct the SoJDC to review their upcoming development proposals on South Hill and the Waterfront to increase the proportion of homes to be designated as affordable. We will then review the role of the SoJDC entirely in the government’s programme for housing delivery.
In the coming months, we will be further developing our manifesto and selecting election candidates. We encourage Islanders to join us to help shape our vision for Jersey.”
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