Under this Tory-led government, we have seen the lowest rate of house building since the war. Ever-rising house prices mean so many first-time buyers just simply can’t afford to get onto the housing ladder. It’s a question of supply and demand – too few homes are being built. So a Labour government is promising to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020.

We need to use our brownfield sites to build these new homes. But they must be affordable – too much housing is being priced out of the reach of people in Dartford, because the local council doesn’t stand up to big developers.

We need to build council houses again – modern, purpose built homes, attractive to look at and comfortable live in. Other councils can do this – so can Dartford. 

There are hundreds of thousands of properties standing empty around the country. We need to support initiatives to turn these back into use. And we need to support smaller developers to get building – Labour would do this by providing them with guaranteed loans.

Many families are moving out of London to Dartford for a home they can afford and more space. But with any new large scale site, Dartford council must insist that developers provide adequate parking and facilities that residents need – for example, a play space for children and a meeting space / coffee bar for parents.

If you rent your home from a private landlord it can be a struggle to afford the ever-increasing rent. That’s why a Labour government would limit rent rises and provide longer-term tenancy agreements for good tenants. That provides security for both the tenant and the landlord.

Over the last few months I have visited several people living in Dartford’s council homes who are facing unacceptable conditions – for example, mould on the walls. We need to make sure that Dartford’s council homes are of a decent standard.

And a Labour government would scrap this government’s vindictive, unfair and pointless bedroom tax.

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