Labour's Housing Plan

 

What is Labour’s Housing plan?

 

Getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020

 

Labour has endorsed the comprehensive plan set out by Sir Michael Lyons Housing Review, the first of its kind in a generation. It sets out how Labour will meet their commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and sets a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers by 2025. Only Labour has a plan to tackle the housing crisis.

 

To do this, we will give local authorities the powers and resources to build the home their communities need:

 

  • We will ensure that all councils produce a plan for homebuilding in their area and allocate sufficient land for development to meet the needs of local people. No council should be allowed to duck their responsibility to meet the housing needs of the local community they serve

     

  • Powers for groups of local authorities to collaborate and form Olympic-style New Homes Corporations to build out designated land at pace.

     

  • Measures to drive competition in the house building industry, increase capacity, and expanding the number of small firms. A Help to Build scheme to underwrite loans to small builders to get them building again and fast-track planning on small sites.

     

  • We will set out Treasury Guarantees and financial incentives to unlock sustainable Garden City development. And we will give local areas real powers to deliver Garden Cities through new Garden City Development Corporations based on updated New Towns legislation.

     

    Building more affordable Homes:

     

Labour councils are building twice as many affordable homes compared with Tory-run authorities. A Labour Government will:

 

  • Labour will build more affordable homes by making housing a bigger priority for capital investment in the next Parliament as proposed by Ed Miliband and Ed Balls;

  • We will make better use of existing resources such as the move to single-pot funding and refocusing public expenditure from benefits payments to house building over time, so called benefits to bricks;

  • The fuller use of existing provision for Government guarantees, including for social housing;

  • More innovative use of public land.

  • Labour will also introduce a stronger definition of affordable housing in the planning system and tougher rules for assessing viability on housing developments. We will reverse the government’s changes which have watered down affordable home obligations.

 

A Fairer Deal for Private Renters

 

  1. Give security and peace of mind by legislating for 3-year tenancies giving renters a stable home and landlords the confidence to invest.

  2. End excessive rent increases by putting a ceiling on rent increases during the new 3-year tenancies.

  3. Ban rip-off letting agent fees for tenants by legislating to stop letting agents charging fees to tenants.

  4. Drive up standards by introducing a national register of landlords and making it easier for local authorities to introduce licensing schemes.

  5. Bring an end to cold homes by setting a new target to upgrade the energy efficiency of properties in the private rented sector.

 

LABOUR’S HOUSING RECORD

 

  • 2 million more homes under Labour. Between 1997 and 2010, nearly 2 million more homes were built in England, including half a million affordable homes.

     

  • Labour built half a million affordable homes during its time in office.

     

  • Labour delivered 256,000 additional affordable homes in its last 5 years in office.

     

  • During the recession, Labour acted to keep people in their homes, preventing the mass repossessions of the 1980s and increased investment in housing to provide the homes that people need and secure constructions jobs. As well as funding to build 112,000 affordable homes during the recession, we maintained and created 160,000 jobs and 3,000 apprenticeships for young people.

     

  • A million more families were able to buy their own homes, including over 130,000 first time buyers who we helped through shared ownership schemes or with equity loans.

     

  • Largest increase in net housing in 30 years. Annual housing supply in England reached 207,500 net additional dwellings in 2007-08; the highest annual level of net housing supply in the last thirty years.

     

  • Labour improved housing standards: Inheriting from the Tories in 1997 a £19 billion backlog in repairs, we brought 1.5 million social homes up to a decent standard through the Decent Homes Programme, including fitting over 700,000 new kitchens, 525,000 new bathrooms and over 1 million new central heating systems at a cost of £33bn

     

  • The number of social rented homes in a non-decent, poor condition fell by 75% under the last Labour Government.

     

  • Homelessness fell 70% under Labour. Statutory homelessness (households found to be in priority need and unintentionally homeless) fell by 70% under Labour from 135,000 in 2003/4 to 40,000 in 2009/10.

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