Jeremy Corbyn vows to end rough sleeping with 'immediate' purchase of 8,000 homes

Posted On: 
28th January 2018

Jeremy Corbyn today promised to buy thousands of homes in a bid to fix the homelessness crisis in Britain if he wins power.

Homelessness has been steadily on the rise since the Tories came to power in 2010
PA Images

The Labour leader said the Government would purchase 8,000 homes “immediately” and approach the issue of homelessness as a “social objective”.

He also said councils would be handed the power to seize properties left empty on purpose. 

Labour calls for council chief who ordered royal wedding crackdown on homeless to be sacked

Theresa May slaps down Tory council leader over royal wedding homelessness crackdown

Ministers accused of 'abject failure' on homelessness

Figures released this week showed rough sleeping in England had rocketed for the seventh year running in 2017 - up by 15% compared with the year before.

According to homelessness charities the number of people living on the streets has soared by 169% since the Tories came to power in 2010.

Mr Corbyn said the scale of homelessness in the UK was “disgusting” and “wholly unnecessary”.

He said he would fix the issue by purchasing a home for every rough sleeper as soon as possible if he wins the next election.

Appearing on the Andrew Marr show, he added: "We would give local authorities the power to take over deliberately kept empty properties, because there is something grossly insulting about the idea you would build some luxury block and deliberately keep it empty.

"Surely we have to have a social objective and a social priority in our society.”

Mr Corbyn also said he would introduce more council properties with lifelong tenancies at secure rents, a government-backed mortgage scheme to help first-time buyers and more intervention in the private rented sector.

The Government has said the reasons people end up sleeping on the streets are many and complex.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington today said the Government was now looking more at preventing homelessness.