Labour and housing – good in parts but misses the vital issues


The Labour party manifesto includes housing policy. There are some good points – particularly about the rights of private renters and building more affordable homes.

SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
Home is at the heart of all of our lives. It’s the foundation on which we raise our families, the bedrock for our dreams and aspirations. But for too many people, the housing pressures they face are getting worse not better. Britain has a housing crisis – a crisis of supply and a crisis of affordability.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Labour will invest to build over a million new homes. By the end of the next Parliament we will be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale.

HOME OWNERSHIP
The number of home-owning households has fallen by 900,000 for the under-45s since 2010. Labour will back first-time buyers to buy that special first home. The number of affordable homes to buy has plummeted by two-thirds under the Conservatives, so we will build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers.

PRIVATE RENTERS
We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters. Soaring rents are a real problem Ȃ leading to more families living in temporary accommodation, more people sleeping rough, and many not having enough money to save up for a deposit or for a rainy day.

COUNCIL AND SOCIAL TENANTS
Under the Conservatives, affordable housebuilding has fallen to a 24-year low. Labour will build the genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy that the country needs. We will remove government restrictions that stop councils building homes and begin the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years. :e will ditch the Conservatives’ ban on long-term council tenancies to give council tenants security in their homes.

But there are some glaring omissions
1) No reference to the impact of population growth (largely due to immigration) on creating excessive demand;
2) Nothing about the impact of UK and foreign buyers purchasing homes for investment purposes;
3) Nothing about restricting second homes.

Political parties will not solve housing issues – largely of affordability rather than supply – without dealing with the demand side.

And no recognition that we actually have more houses than households!

For more on this issue see: https://medium.com/@ian.mulheirn/part-1-is-there-really-a-housing-shortage-89fdc6bac4d2

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