Labour unveils plans to ‘redefine affordable housing’

23 Apr 18

Labour has released plans to build 1 million homes in 10 years and “redefine affordable housing”, in a green paper.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey, unveiling Labour’s new housing green paper ‘Housing for the Many’ on Thursday last week, said: “The very term ‘affordable’ has been so misused by ministers that it’s now widely mistrusted by the public, so we will establish a new Labour legal definition of an ‘affordable home.’”

Healey said that the new definition of “affordable” must be linked to local incomes and not market prices.

Speaking at the Local Government Association’s headquarters, Healey revealed plans to build 100,000 “genuinely affordable” homes each year for the next ten years. The majority of these would be for social rent.

Labour is also calling for a “duty to deliver” affordable homes for councils, which will be tailored to local need.

Another proposal is to introduce the “Decent Homes 2” scheme, which will require social landlords to improve fire safety and regularly release fire safety reports.

Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “Our national housing crisis is causing real hardship for millions of people all over the country – as we have been saying for a long time, it is absolutely crucial that we focus on affordability.

"We know that for many people on lower incomes, the only truly affordable option is social rent – and yet not only are we failing to build enough of these homes, we are actually losing them at an alarming rate.”

CIH research predicts 230,000 homes for social rent will be lost in England between 2012 and 2020. 

Conservative housing minister, Dominic Raab said: “Labour always make big promises, and always fail to deliver them.

“Under the Conservatives, we are investing £9bn to build more good quality homes that people can afford and have seen the highest number of new homes being built for a decade.”

CIPFA is hosting a breakfast morning to discuss how to fix the broken housing market on 24 April

Did you enjoy this article?