Davy Jones, the Green Party candidate for Brighton Kemptown, is making a stand against unaffordable housing and bad landlords, saying that his party believes it’s ‘essential to cap rents.’
Brighton Kemptown is the constituency next to the Brighton Pavilion seat which was won by the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas in 2010.
I caught up with Davy on his campaign trail, and we spoke about his attitude to housing, including what he sees as the “commodification” of the housing market:
The issue of rent caps came to the forefront of the election debate on Sunday, as Ed Miliband announced a Labour government would restrict rent increases to the rate of inflation.
The UK rental market is booming, partly because few young people can afford to buy a home.
High property prices have not been matched by income increases, and housing charity Shelter says that 80% of homes in England are now unaffordable.
In London, there are only 43 homes for sale that fall into the ‘affordable’ category.
The Green Party manifesto claims that if wages had risen as much as house prices since 1997, ‘the average person would be earning almost £30,000 more a year’.
This has led to what many see as a housing crisis.
As Davy Jones says, ‘most young people can’t possibly afford to buy a house. Lots of them can’t even afford to rent’.
The Greens want to go further than the Labour pledges: they’d introduce five year fixed tenancies and remove tax incentives for buy-to-let.
They also want to introduce a scheme to bring empty properties back into use.
An estimated 29,000 homes in London are long-term unoccupied.
Davy Jones and the Green Party view housing as a basic right, and Davy argues that for too long it’s been seen simply as a ‘way to make a quick buck.’