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Jeremy Corbyn vows to end 'social cleansing'

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to end “social cleansing” as he announced plans to introduce rent controls and new restrictions on housing redevelopment schemes.

In his keynote speech at Labour’s annual conference, the party leader referenced the Grenfell Tower disaster as he said regeneration had often meant “forced gentrification and social cleansing”.

He outlined plans for a year-long consultation, listening to tenants across the country, followed by proposal for radical reforms at 2018’s conference.

Under a Labour government, every home would have to be “fit for human habitation”, Mr Corbyn said.

He said his government would bring in rent controls for cities, along with a “use it or lose it” policy for developers.

Mr Corbyn also pledged to introduce mandatory ballots of existing tenants and leaseholders before any redevelopment scheme can take place.

“After Grenfell we must think again about what are called regeneration schemes. Regeneration is a much abused word," he told delegates in Brighton.

“We will listen to tenants across the country  and propose a radical programme of action  to next year’s conference.   But some things are already clear  tenants are not being listened to.

“We will insist that every home is fit for human habitation, a proposal this Tory government voted down.  And we will control rents -  when the younger generation’s housing costs are three times more than those of their grandparents, that is not sustainable.

“Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.  We also need to tax undeveloped land held by developers and have the power to compulsorily purchase.   As Ed Miliband said, 'Use it or lose it'.   Families need homes.

He added: “Regeneration under a Labour government will be for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators...

“No social cleansing, no jacking up rents, no exorbitant ground rents... Real regeneration, yes, but for the many not the few.”

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