Breaking: Labour manifesto’s council “housing revolution” will put decent homes within reach of all

Council housing programme will transform lives of millions and help environment

Labour’s manifesto, which launches tomorrow, will include new plans for the biggest council and social housing programme in decades – since the country was rebuilt after the Second World War – to transform the lives of millions of people struggling to afford a decent home because of the housing crisis.

The new plans will be paid for with funding from Labour’s Social Transformation Fund. Half of Labour’s Social Transformation Fund – around £75bn over five years – will be allocated to housing.

Green homes

The homes will be built to cutting edge design and green standards, with Labour citing the new, award winning Goldsmith Street council development in Labour-led Norwich as an example of what Labour’s modern council housing could look like.

Labour’s plans will mean:

  • scaling up council house building so that we are building 100,000 council homes a year by the end of the parliament, a more than 3,500% increase
  • building at least 50,000 additional genuinely affordable homes a year through Housing Associations by the end of the parliament
  • at least 150,000 new council and social homes a year within five years, delivering the biggest council housebuilding programme since the years immediately after the Second World War, and the biggest overall affordable housebuilding programme since the 1960s

Fixing Tory cuts

Despite more than a million households being stuck on council waiting lists, affordable housing was one of the first and deepest cuts the Conservatives made after 2010. Government figures show that last year the number of Government-funded affordable homes for social rent built fell by 90%, to fewer than 1,000, while Government figures suggest fewer than 3,000 council homes were built.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that over the last two decades, there has been a 46% increase in the number of young people aged 20-34 living with their parents.

The National Housing Federation say: “Last year the Government spent £1.27bn on affordable housing, making housing one of the smallest government budgets, down 70% on 2010 levels.”

Homes in every area – at affordable rents

The scale of Labour’s building programme will mean that homes will be available in every area for families, trapped younger renters and older people in sub-standard homes.

As part of the new programme, Labour will scrap the Conservatives’ bogus definition of ‘affordable’ housing replacing it with a new Labour definition linked to local incomes, including social rent – which works out at around half the level of market rents – alongside new living rent and homes for low-cost ownership.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:

Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.

I am determined to create a society where working class communities and young people have access to affordable, good quality council and social homes.

Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. Labour is offering real change to fix it.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said:

The next Labour Government will kick-start a housing revolution, with the biggest investment in new council and social homes this country has seen for decades.

Labour’s transformational housing plans will mean thousands more genuinely affordable homes for people on ordinary incomes in every area of the country.

Our modern council and social housing will be built to cutting-edge design and green standards providing a long-term investment in our country’s future.”

Labour’s bold plan for housing is what exactly what experts say is needed to fix the country’s housing crisis.

Major housing industry bodies the Chartered Institute for Housing and the National Housing Federation say 145,000 affordable homes a year are needed.

Housing charity Shelter’s expert housing commission concluded that the country needed to be building an average of 155,000 social homes a year over the next 20 years.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

18 responses to “Breaking: Labour manifesto’s council “housing revolution” will put decent homes within reach of all

  1. Great news…but I hope their his some legal way of tying the ownership of these propertys up for a very long time so a incoming RW government will not be using much needed government property as a bribe…A Covenant attatched to the land title is not enough it needs to be a series of documents..time sensitive to nulify a single extremist government such as the Thatcher government that started the misery and Tony Blair carried through.to the virtual obliteration of the public owned property sector.We also need to consider transfering the housing association empires back into public service.We have given to many assets away to the RW extremists to exploit the working class.No wonder the establishment are terrified of the Labour party plans.

  2. This is a very welcome policy but for it to work we need to scrap the Right to Buy legislation or amend it substantially.
    Right to Buy was the means by which Thatcher privatised public sector housing. Properties were sold off to tenants who became liable for maintenance and any other costs but the money raised from the sale could not,under the legislation, be used to build replacement dwellings , This legislation is the cause of much of the homelessness and housing need we see today.

    • Just as an aside, Margaret Thatcher took a lot of persuading to support RTB as she feared it would alienate traditional buyers.

      Margaret Thatcher: A very cautious politician indeed.

      • Where I come from Thatcher is called many things but “cautious politician” is not among them.

  3. Not a minute too soon.
    All the greedy buy-to-letters need to lose everything, house prices need to crash and greedy bankers all need to be thrown out of tall buildings as a salutory lesson to the future.
    The lesson is that everyone alive has as much right to shelter and the necessities of life as everyone else.
    We are born with those inalienable rights and they last exactly one lifetime.

    (The dead have no rights – especially not the right to decide what happens after their deaths to what they owned when they were alive – inheritance of property breaks the laws of both evolution and capitalism when the offspring of the fittest are weakened by the sloth of wealth.)

    If those who advertise themselves as the best possible leaders of society fail in the basic duty to house the homeless – the homeless get the legal right to move in with the fuckers until their new house is ready.
    I have spoken 🙂

  4. Good debate
    Building more council houses fucks up the cartels, it disrupts the market and generates competition
    Not against right to buy, as long as every penny goes back into building council houses,
    Bring back the old affordability rules, 10% deposit, 2 and a half single salary and 3 and a half joint
    Go to town on Rachmans with draconian enforcement of building standards and compulsory purchases,
    Inheritance is a minefield, i agree it fucks up the bairns, set a lifetime limit,
    Protection from future milk snatchers
    Democratic reform on a grand scale from abolishing HofL and private schools to PR and devolution across England as well as home nations
    Reform of media ownership, restrict polling and lobbying companies
    Send spivs and thieves to jail and seize assets
    Would be a good start if Electoral laws were enforced
    Use 10% given to workers in FTSE 100 firms as a sovereign wealth fund for share buy backs,
    Theres nowt new, we have been here before

  5. My experience of being a councillor was a whipped system to force the sale of our housing stock to a private Housing association,made up of ex council oficers who all became millioners overnight.I voted against the sale and previously to the sale got myself into trouble with our Labour lib pact council for actively campaigning against the rigged sale.After voting against the wip,which was used against me the only rebel councillor.I was rightly removed from any positions that I held on various committes.The thought that we will be including working with Housing associations on council propertys is worrying.But has they say the Devil is in the detail..I draw attention to the whipping sytem because it seems to be a system that our PLP ignore.and are allowed to ignore.Don’t use jeremy as an example of ignoring the system because he was punished for doing it the same as me.We can have discipline in a Labour government,but not if we allow rebels for whatever good or bad reason we ignore the rules and the wip.

  6. Ps I only once voted against the Labour party,and it was on the principle of giving away public assets for a warped ideology on the sale of council housing.I resigned from the Tony Blair Labour party and walked away from the council..Somtimes the majority can be wrong and the plainly obvious even in the Blair years has come home to roost.The Building of council housing could win us the election because like 👍 the NHS even the most cynical veiwer will realise that it will be restored under a Labour government.A election winner and we’ve got form on this in a positive way

    • Tom londra…We are not going to mention the right to buy in a election,but the Torys will.Corbyn will just have to dodge that question for now…less than a few weeks and we can answer that question and more after the election.Corbyn cannot allow right to buy and build hundreds of thousands of council housing to give away.We cannot waste public money and neither can we raise money if we do on council house building loans.And thats why the Housing associations will be crucial in negotiations… But for now we can win an election by motivating people who have given up on voting.IT truly is an election winner!

    • The irony of ‘Right to Buy’ is that, in a very different framework, and with specific constraints, it *could* have been a mechanism for effective and powerful wealth redistribution. Such a policy would have implied rapid replacement, and discincentives – or prohibitions – against landlordism.

      But, of course, it soon became obvious that the Blair government didn’t have any such objective in mind. Local Authorities at the time were stuffed, and, as I recall, focussed on trying to find mechanisms to limit the damage in terms of the housing stock.

      As of now – there would be little opposition to simply ending the right to buy, although past damage can’t be undone.

    • I have commented on this above – RTB either needs to be ended or amended. The amendment would have to be something along the lines of allowing the capital receipts from house sales to be used to build replacement dwellings.
      Also discounts on the purchase price would have to be limited so that the money received would cover the cost of a replacement dwelling . As far as I am aware the discount does not kick in in relation to the sale of new builds for several years but we need to ensure that say 10 years down the line we are not back to square one.
      On principle I do not agree with RTB but this is probably a minority view – I think the majority of people agree with it so perhaps amending the legislation would be better than scrapping it altogether. Either way something has to be done about RTB if we are going to succeed in our aim of providing social and affordable housing for those presently homeless or living in overcrowded or slum conditions,

  7. There is an element of contradiction in the ‘new found’ love-in ideology of Extinction Rebellion with care for the environment & concrete & tarmac covering green field sites. Population well over 70 million & ever increasing, but over population is not on the agenda in our green & pleasant land.
    Who needs more houses? Our young people? Where do we build these new houses, in Home Counties? Don’t we need more immigration to run our NHS; cook our curries & clean our swimming pools? Cheap labour undermines the wages of the working class, that is what Blairite & Thatcherite globalisation is about……cheap labour. Forever concrete & tarmac & call it green housing.

    • Steve Richards, I think different kinds of housing suit us at different times in our lives. When we’re young, single and agile, large city centre terraced apartment complexes, each surrounding a leisure area with swimming pool might be popular – party friendly and close to the night clubs and the excitement. There’s going to be plenty of city centre land available when the retail and office is gone.

      People with children have very different accommodation needs compared to when they were single, but price severely restricts the space available to young families when they need it most. All parents have similar accommodation and infrastructure needs – schools, childcare, parks & play areas – common interests promote friendship and sharing of childcare – surely parents able to live near other parents in family-sized properties is a worthwhile goal?

      Retired singles might like something similar in layout to the young singles but in quieter locations – retired marrieds and young marrieds might like living near each other or not, I don’t know.

      Travel to work is usual today – and expensive – and red (the opposite of green). Living near work could probably be accommodated in most cases with good planning.
      Census results should predict and dictate building programmes and (allowing all the choice that can be provided) accommodation allocation.

      All the foregoing mitigates against ownership and for centralised planning in my view – I think free accommodation is a valid ambition and ownership something to let pass into history.
      To paraphrase BlowJob – fuck profiteers.

Leave a Reply