Labour to launch biggest council housing programme since the war if it wins election

Posted On: 
20th November 2019

Labour will embark upon the biggest council house building programme since the Second World War if it wins the election.

Labour said it will embark on a "housing revolution" if elected.
PA Images

Ahead of its manifesto launch in Birmingham, the party said it would spend £75bn buidling half a million new local authority-run homes over the next five years.

That would equate to a rise of more than 3,500% on the current rate of construction.

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Labour also vowed to build at least 50,000 “genuinely affordable homes” a year through housing associations in the same period.

The party said all new homes would be “built to cutting edge design and green standards” and would be “available in every area for families, trapped younger renters, and older people in sub-standard homes”.

It comes after Government figures revealed that last year the number of affordable homes built for social rent fell to fewer than 1,000, while fewer than 3,000 council homes were built.

Labour also pledged to replace the broad definition of “affordable housing” - which can be set at up to 80% of market rents – to new criteria in order for housebuilders to qualify for funding.

The party said “social rent homes” would be set at around half the cost of market rents, “living rent homes” would be linked to a third of average local incomes, with the same criteria also applying for “low-cost ownership”.

Jeremy Corbyn said of the party's "housing revolution" plan: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.

“I am determined to create a society where working class communities and young people have access to affordable, good quality council and social homes.

“Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. Labour is offering real change to fix it.”

The party also pointed to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which found that over the last two decades, there has been a 46% increase in the number of young people aged 20-34 living with their parents.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “The next Labour Government will kick-start a housing revolution, with the biggest investment in new council and social homes this country has seen for decades.

“Labour’s transformational housing plans will mean thousands more genuinely affordable homes for people on ordinary incomes in every area of the country.

“Our modern council and social housing will be built to cutting-edge design and green standards providing a long-term investment in our country’s future.”