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Labour pledges 100,000 council homes a year and tougher regulations for the private rented sector

Week in Westminster

Published: 12 May 2017 | Author: Michelle Vosper

Tuesday saw the official launch of Labour’s election campaign. Speaking to the Guardian, Jeremy Corbyn said his top priority is to build more council houses and introduce tougher regulation of the private rented sector.

We got a little more insight into Labour’s housing policies and pledges the following day when a draft version of Labour’s manifesto was leaked in advance of the party’s meeting to agree the document. Some of the housing pledges contained in the draft document include:

 

Supply:

  • Will invest to build at least over a million new homes. By the end of the next Parliament will be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for affordable rent or sale.
  • Will establish a Department for Housing to focus on improving the number, standards and affordability of homes.
  • Will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour’s housing delivery body.
  • Will ensure local plans address the need for older people’s housing, ensuring that choice and downsizing options are readily available.

Home-ownership:

  • Will build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers
  • Will guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027
  • Will give local people buying their first home first dibs on new homes built in their area
  • Will give leaseholders security from rip-off grown rents and end the routine use of leasehold houses in new developments.
  • Will offer home owners 0% loans to improve their property.
  • Will introduce revenue neutral stamp duty incentives to encourage a good energy efficiency standard at the point of sale.

Private rented sector:

  • Will make new three-year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent rises. Will look at giving the Mayor for London the power to give renters in London additional security.
  • Will introduce a new legal minimum standard to ensure properties are fit for human habitation and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are substandard.

Social rented sector:

  • Will suspend the right-to-buy, with councils only able to resume if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.

Labour’s final manifesto, along with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos are expected to be published next week.

And finally...

In other news, this week the Welsh government published a consultation asking for views on proposed reforms to the regulation of registered social landlords in Wales.