There is a housing crisis in York with housing costing at least 10 times average earnings. Rents in York have risen 10% in just the last year (‘21-22). The private rented sector is being squeezed by short-term lets (holiday lets / Airbnbs) and student HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), linked to the rapid (and in some cases unplanned) expansion of student numbers. Our priority is York’s residents – York is not just for tourists!
60% of local carbon emissions come from buildings. And it is possible to get our emissions down, with a clear focus and clear strategy.
Pledge – Build genuinely affordable housing on council land.
Labour will build decent housing in York that people can afford.
We’ll start getting homes built in York that people can afford, creating communities that have good facilities nearby.
Housing Associations offering quality, affordable homes will be allowed to build on council land.
Land sale receipts will be invested into further affordable house-building schemes.
When the council builds, 100% of new homes will be affordable. We’ll deliver dynamic, imaginative solutions to tackle York’s housing crisis:
• Housing built on council-owned land will be 100% genuinely affordable.
• We’ll work in partnership with Housing Associations and increase land supply for them to build on, on condition that they provide new developments delivering far in excess of the usual 20% affordable rented homes.
• We’ll help partners who want to build affordable housing with the One Public Estate programme.
• We’ll ensure all new housing developments provide affordable housing contributions and we will restrict licensing of HMOs in residential neighbourhoods.
• We’ll support people living in privately rented properties by expanding the Landlord Registration Scheme – making sure landlords provide healthy, safe, energy efficient homes to live in.
• We’ll intervene in the short-term and holiday lets market (including Airbnb) in every way we can to help stop the private rented market overheating even more.
We’ll lead by tackling carbon emissions in council-owned properties, and by sharing our know-how across York:
• We’ll work across the housing industry and community to develop a heating and energy efficiency strategy for York, including plans to improve supply chain capacity, promote education and training (in the York Green Construction Village) and promote sustainable materials and gains in biodiversity. We’ll also join the Blueprint Coalition pushing for more powers and resources for councils.
• We’ll set up a housing innovation hub, working with developers, builders, landlords, colleges and community groups to build skills, improve methods and quality standards, and to share learnings across the supply chain.
• We’ll use planning rules to ensure that all new homes / buildings are ‘Zero Carbon ready’ and built from sustainable materials (with low embodied carbon).
• We’ll use learnings from council house retrofits and establish a retrofit demonstrator programme for other housing in York. We’ll use national initiatives (like Labour’s Climate Investment Pledge) to help home-owners cut down on heating and reduce their heating bills.
We’ll improve the health and wellbeing of York residents by targeting solutions where there is greatest need:
• The receipt of land sales by the council will be reinvested to breath life into existing housing stock. We want to improve the quality and condition of homes where the council is the landlord (often in the most deprived parts of our city).
• We want to improve the condition and appearance of the most deprived streets and spaces in York.
• We will make sure that a high proportion of the affordable homes built are suitable for older and disabled residents (good-quality, right-size bungalows and flats). • We’ll help older residents live in right-size homes, freeing up bigger houses for families.
• We’ll work with specialist care providers to provide good-quality specialist mixed-care facilities.
We’ll make space for green spaces:
In housing/ planning applications we’ll make sure green spaces and culture / leisure are part of the planning requirements that developers must fulfil, and we’ll have a real focus on the left-behind parts of the city, opposing playing field and other losses.
We’ll make sure there is a proper planning process in place so we can secure a better future for York:
• Through planning we’ll protect existing facilities and work to ensure there are more local facilities and services within a 15 minute / 1 mile walking distance (less on a bike).
• Planning for new housing developments will be focused on requirements for a good range of local services, workspaces and facilities, low traffic walking and cycling routes, priority bus access, e-bike provision and car sharing.
• We’ll deliver more streets with cleaner air: particularly ensuring school streets have less traffic and pollution to protect children’s safety and health, and extending the council’s City Centre Bus Clean Air Zone to cover freight vehicles and taxis.
• Planning will support the different ways people work (hybrid and home-working). New houses should be e-enabled and have adequate appropriately designed spaces for home working (both for adults and children).
• Planning will support retrofitting to reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions, including appropriate interventions for historic buildings.