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.
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.
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