We asked the candidates ...


There is a need for homes on the Island to address a shortage of housing that matches the local situation, especially for those looking to rent. How would you seek to create more homes for Islanders whilst balancing the environmental costs of more buildings?

Asked on:
May 26, 2024
Published on:
June 10, 2024

They answered ...

Michael Lilley : Liberal Democrats
General website referral

All housing development must be partially subsidised – through grants or loans – to allow for affordable building costs to be met.  All homes must approach zero carbon efficiencies and developments must mitigate and approach net zero targets for the development community impact.

The Isle of Wight was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO in 2019 and the only the 7th place in UK to achieve this. It is recognition of the unique combination of nature, people and places that makes up our beautiful Island. It is about communities and the environment working together in an increasingly sustainable way. We have to make sure all future developments that are built on the Island are balanced which supply housing that is needed at a price Islanders can afford whether to buy or rent but protect nature and green and blue space (land and marine).

The Branstone development in Isle of Wight East is a good example of social housing for rent, creating local jobs such as Goddard’s Brewery, and designed in a green environmental way alongside nature.

We particular need all housing development on the Island to focus on affordable social housing for rent and by 2028 have no Islanders in emergency accommodation due to homelessness.

I have a strong connection with Vectis Housing Association, which has built the majority of social houses to rent on the Island and we need to get more finance for local social housing providers and IW Council directly to vigorously build housing for those in need.

Vix Lowthion : Green Party
Direct answer

The shortage of appropriate, warm and affordable housing for islanders will be a priority for me as your MP. As a start we need to address the problems in the rental market – Green MPs would introduce rental controls and end no fault evictions. When I first came to the island 19 years ago I rented a winter let in Bonchurch, followed by a series of private rentals for the next 13 years. I know how it feels to struggle to afford the rent rises that can come – and since I bought my own home 5 years ago I know it has got a lot worse.

The building industry can have a big environmental cost – but it can also bring a big environmental benefit if regulated and supported with the environment in mind. The Green Party released their “Right homes, right place” charter last year to beat the housing crisis and protect our green spaces. I think it is a great model for housing across the country. Greens would use the taxation and planning system to incentivise renovation of existing buildings and also encourage small developments rather than big estates. Solar panels and heat pumps should be included on all new homes, with 100,000 new council homes to be built every year. And new developments should be located so that they do not have to rely on cars for transport.

Read more about the charter here https://greenparty.org.uk/news/2023/04/05/greens-call-for-right-homes,-right-place,-right-price-charter-to-beat-housing-crisis-and-protect-green-space/ ).

Emily Brothers : Labour Party
General website referral

After 14 years of Conservative government, the dream of home ownership is out of reach for too many people in Isle of Wight East. A generation face becoming renters for life through no fault of their own.

The Island’s Housing Needs Register now has more than 2,470 households listed as looking for a permanent home. In the 2022/23 period, the council placed 584 households in bed and breakfast accommodation, with 12,975 nights booked. The need for temporary accommodation in that period cost the authority £2,213,037, before any income was recouped, compared to £1,703,867 in 2021.

Labour will:

  • Reform planning by re-introducing housing targets, build on disused grey belt land, fast track permissions on brownfield and build the next generation of new towns;
  • Unlock the housing market for first time buyers with a Freedom to Buy Scheme with a permanent mortgage guarantee to help working people get a mortgage and buy a home;
  • Work with developers to give local people ‘first choices’ on new housing, ending the farce of entire developments sold off to international investors before local people get a look in;
  • Reform compulsory purchase rules to stop speculators frustrating housebuilding and squeezing value from infrastructure and affordable housing.

The UK’s feudal leasehold system is broken, leaving millions trapped in expensive rentals with ever-increasing service charges and fees. Labour will expand the rights of leaseholders and make commonhold the default across the country.

Labour will introduce a powerful new Private Renters Charter to make renting fairer, more secure, and more affordable, through higher-quality and properly regulated private rented homes. It will also give renters greater freedom over their home, including the right to make reasonable alterations, the right to request speedy repairs and to have pets.

Answers to this question will be shown on the "Published on" date above.

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