The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to address the housing shortage in Hackney and build more affordable homes.
There are currently 11,238 families in Hackney on a waiting list for council homes, up 523 from last year.
In addition, official figures show 1046 homes in Hackney have been empty for over six months.
The Liberal Democrats would introduce a legal requirement for smaller housing developments to include affordable homes, make it easier for local authorities and housing associations to borrow money and set up a new government-backed Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank.
The party would 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.
Joe Richards, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said:
“Thousands of families in Hackney 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.
“Labour have failed the people of Hackney on housing and have overseen decades of social cleansing where social housing has been sold off to make way for expensive developments that most people in the borough cannot afford."
Dave Raval, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch, added:
“In Hackney the Liberal Democrats are campaigning for all new developments to be 50% affordable as well as building more council homes.
“We also want to put residents in control of the planning process with resident-led developments so that as we build more homes, we also build thriving, inclusive communities.”
"A better future is available. Have hope, vote Liberal Democrat and we can change Britain's future and build the affordable homes Hackney needs."
Full details of the Liberal Democrat plan to address the huge shortage of housing in the UK:
The Liberal Democrats have committed to:
• Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to help reach our house-building target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent
• Set up a new government-backed Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to provide long-term capital for major new settlements and house building projects
• Enable local authorities to penalise excessive land-banking when builders with planning permission have failed to build after 3 years
• Allow councils to levy up to 200% Council Tax on empty homes including second homes and ‘buy to leave empty’ investments from overseas
• Ensure 500,000 affordable, energy-efficient homes are built over five years
• Scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes
• Lift the borrowing cap on Local Authorities to build more social homes for rent
• Increase borrowing capacity of Housing Associations through increased access to finance