With the election one week away, both Tory and Labour housing policies have come under fire – from the Tony Blair Institute.
The Institute, founded by the former Labour prime minister, says that the housing crisis is one of the most salient issues in the election.
However, it heavily criticises both manifestos, suggesting that neither will solve the crisis and warning of house price rises.
It also says Labour’s plans for rent controls are “excessively interventionist” and would “lead to deteriorating standards in the private rented sector”.
However, it says that Tory proposals to raise the security of tenure among private renters would leave scope for backsliding.
The Institute also says that it is its own research which has led to the Tories moderating their ambitions to increase housing supply – from 300,000 new houses a year to 200,000.
It says: “This follows a growing recognition … that higher rates of supply do not offer a real solution to any aspect of the housing crisis.”
The Institute goes on: “Earlier this year we published a report on the causes of the housing crisis. It shows why additional general housing supply will have limited impact in improving prices and rents, and points to the real causes of high prices, declining rent affordability, and falling home ownership. Cranking up housing supply offers no real solution to high house prices.”
The Institute, which is also critical of the Lib Dems, warns of rising house prices no matter what the result of the election.
It says that Lib Dem proposals could see a 16% rise in house prices by 2030, 19% under Labour, and 26% under the Tories.
The Institute also says that if Labour meets its housing targets, there would be a surplus housing stock of 2.3m homes.
It also warns that abolishing so-called no-fault evictions might not be effective – both Labour and Conservatives want to get rid of Section 21 – if landlords can continue to raise rents.
However, it says that the parties’ proposals “currently fall short” on how to govern rent rises in the private sector.
The Institute says that Labour is proposing excessive intervention, and the Conservatives not enough.