Labour pledges to “fix the housing crisis” at party conference

The Labour Party has announced its plans to end the housing crisis at its party conference in Liverpool, with leader Jeremy Corbyn pledging to “embark on the biggest home building programme in half a century.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey revealed the plans in more detail during his preceding speech, giving the conference his “guarantee” that the next Labour Government will do “whatever it takes to fix this country’s housing crisis.”

He said:

“We will set up a fully fledged housing department to lead the drive to fix the housing crisis; we will end rough sleep- ing within a parliament; we’ll control rents, end no-fault evictions, and put a stop to the tyranny of rogue landlords.” Healey added: “We’ll give first time buyers on ordinary incomes the opportunities only the rich get under the tories; and we will have councils building council housing again, building a million new, truly affordable council and housing association homes.”

Two policies put forward to achieve this are ‘Labour’s living rent homes,’ with rents to be set at a third of average local incomes, and ‘Labour’s low cost homes to buy,’ with mortgage costs set at a third of average local incomes. In addition, Healey revealed that a Labour Government would back new unions for renters, funding them in every part of the country. He also criticised the Government’s handling of the Grenfell disaster, claiming Conservative Ministers saw fire regulations as “just red tape.”

Following the Shadow Housing Secretary’s announcements, Corbyn released an “ambitious” energy plan, involving the widespread retrofitting of UK homes with insulation, plus a plan to reduce carbon emissions which he said would create more than 400,000 skilled jobs, making Britain “the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations.”