“Housing for the Many” sets out Labour’s plan to change the country’s approach to affordable housing as part of a new national mission to solve the country’s housing crisis.
Whatever measure you choose, Britain’s housing system is broken. Homelessness is up by 50% since 2010, rough sleeping has doubled, and 120,000 children are without a home to call their own.
Home-ownership has fallen to a 30-year low and the average home now costs eight times the average annual salary. Social housing waiting lists rise while luxury flats stand empty, and thousands are living in homes unfit for human habitation.
This is a crisis. Current Conservative housing policy is failing to fix it, so the next Labour Government must.
“Housing for the Many” is the starting point in a conversation about how to fix our broken housing system so it works for the many, not the few.
As John Healey says:
“‘Housing for the many’ will be Labour’s lodestar, as we launch the biggest council housebuilding programme for over 30 years and get more than 100,000 new genuinely affordable homes built each year – a level not recorded since 1978.
We will build for those who need it, including the very poorest and most vulnerable, with a big boost to new social rented homes. And we will also build Labour’s new affordable homes for those in work on ordinary incomes who are priced out of the housing market and being failed by housing policy. The ‘just coping’ class in Britain today who do the jobs we all rely on – IT workers, HGV drivers, joiners, warehouse managers, lab technicians, nurses, teaching assistants, call centre supervisors, shop staff. They are the backbone of the British economy and heart of our public services.
This is the same Labour aspiration that led Aneurin Bevan to talk of the ‘living tapestry of a mixed community’ when he led Britain’s post-War housebuilding drive. For decades housing built and managed by councils and housing associations was a source of pride, security and a start in life. Labour and Conservative Governments saw this as essential in meeting people’s housing needs and aspirations.”
There is no quick fix – these are long-term plans “a 10-year commitment in Labour’s long-term plan for housing so this level of new affordable housebuilding is sustained across economic and political cycles.”
Labour proposes to:
• Define anew ‘affordable housing’ as linked to local income, and scrap the Conservatives’ so-called ‘affordable rent’ homes priced at up to 80% of market rates;
• Stop the sell-off of 50,000 social rented homes a year by suspending the right to buy, ending all conversions to ‘affordable rent’ and scrapping the Government’s plans to force councils to sell the best of their homes;
• Back councils and housing associations with new funding, powers and flexibilities to build again at scale;
• Transform the planning system with a new duty to deliver affordable homes, an English Sovereign Land Trust to make more land available more cheaply and an end to the ‘viability’ loophole that lets developers dodge their contribution to more affordable homes.