LABOUR’S John Healey offered party members a “radical” vision to tackle the housing crisis, but it’s the country – not the conference – he must convince when an election finally comes.
Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool yesterday, the shadow housing secretary said a future Labour Government would set up a “fully fledged” housing department. He also vowed to end rough sleeping within a parliament. Other measures included:
- Rent controls and an end to no-fault evictions to end the “tyranny of rogue landlords”
- Measure to help first time buyers on ordinary incomes
- Build a million new “truly affordable” council and housing association homes, promising to get councils building again
“The next Labour Government will be the most radical Government on housing since that great post-war Labour Government, and we will do whatever it takes to end this Tory housing crisis,” Healey told the conference delegates.
“We will build for those who need it most – the very poorest and most vulnerable – with a big boost to new social rented homes at the heart of the programme. And we will also build for those in work on ordinary incomes who are priced out of the housing market, and being failed by housing policy.”
Healey said Labour would introduce living rent homes, where rents are set at a third of local average incomes. He also offered the prospect of low cost homes to buy, where mortgage costs would likewise be set at a third of average local incomes.
The next Labour government would also back with funding new unions for renters, and introduce a new national levy on second homes used as holiday homes.