Labour housing policy

Building new homes Britain is in the midst of the biggest housing crisis in a generation, with the lowest levels of house building in peacetime since the 1920s. Young people have been priced out of home ownership. Fewer affordable homes are being built, homelessness is rising, and millions face insecurity and poor standards in the private rented sector. Everyone should be able to live in a secure home, whether they rent or buy. We will make sure that at least 200,000 homes a year get built by 2020 – almost double the current level – by implementing the recommendations of the Lyons Review. It is only by building more homes that people’s aspiration for home ownership will be fulfilled. Our comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis will give local communities new powers to provide the homes they need, in the places they want to live. To help young people and families get on the housing ladder, we will give local authorities the power to give first call to first time buyers on new homes in areas of housing growth. And we will unlock a Future Homes Fund by requiring that the billions of pounds saved in Help to Buy ISAs be invested in increasing housing supply.

We want a housing market that rewards the building of high quality homes rather than land banking and speculation. So we will introduce greater transparency in the land market and give local authorities new ‘use it or lose it’ powers to encourage developers to build. We will increase competition in the housebuilding industry by backing small builders, including through our Help to Build scheme, and by getting the public sector building again. We will build more affordable homes by prioritising capital investment for housing and by reforming the council house financing system. We will give local authorities powers to reduce the number of empty homes, including higher council tax on long term empty properties. And to boost the housing we need, we will start to build a new generation of garden cities.

A number of points – a focus on supply rather than demand so no policies to reduced demand whether from affluent investors/second home purchasers or stopping unsustainable population growth driven largely by in-migration to the UK.

Making developers build after they have got permission sounds fine but in a Cornish context do we really want all the houses built now? And we know what would happen after that, even more would get built!

Yes we do need to provide more affordable housing but not by building unaffordable housing.

Our comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis will give local communities new powers to provide the homes they need, in the places they want to live. But the reality is building houses for people from somewhere else who would like to live in the area!

Labour like the Conservatives is wedded to a free market, neo-liberal ideology, until that discourse is rejected tinkering at the edges and not dealing with demand will fail to provide good quality housing.


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