The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to address the housing shortage in Bath and build more affordable homes, after figures revealed over 6000 families are on a waiting list for council homes.
The latest figures show that 6,093 families in B&NES on the waiting list for council homes, up from 5,662 the previous year.
The Liberal Democrats say they would introduce a legal requirement for smaller housing developments to include affordable homes and they would make it easier for local authorities and housing associations to borrow money to build new homes.
The party would also allow local authorities to hike up council tax on empty homes by up to 200%, including second homes.
Local authorities could also choose to impose penalties on developers who leave plots of land empty for over 3 years, to tackle so-called land-banking.
Wera Hobhouse, the Lib Dem candidate to be Bath’s MP, said: “Thousands of families in Bath are struggling to find a decent and affordable place to call home.
“Many young people in particular are finding it virtually impossible to get on the housing ladder.
“At the same time, homes are sitting empty and plots of land bought by developers are not being used.
The market is broken and has failed to deliver. That is why we are setting out radical plans to fix the housing crisis.
“A Conservative landslide would allow the government to take people for granted, meaning years more soaring rents and failure to build enough affordable housing.
“A better future is available. Have hope, vote Liberal Democrat and we can change Britain’s future and build the affordable homes Bath needs.”