During his speech at Annual Conference 2016 in Liverpool, Jeremy Corbyn announced ambitious plans to build half a million new homes in Britain. More than half of these would be council homes to replenish a depleting stock, according to the Labour Party leader.
Corbyn slammed Conservatives for their effect on housing over the past few years. He accused them of causing housebuilding to fall to its lowest level since the 1920s, with home ownership falling as more people are priced out of the market. The labour leader said “With Labour out of power, the number of affordable new homes built falls, the cost of rent rockets, and the number of homeless people sleeping on our streets rises. But it’s only with Labour in power that we can make tackling the housing crisis our number one priority.”
The speech also touched on the concerning level of council homes being sold off without being replaced. This has resulted in a massive boom in private rent, as tenants are forced to look for alternative housing solutions. This has resulted in £9bn a year being paid to private landlords in housing benefit. Corbyn continued: “Instead of spending public money on building council housing, we’re subsidising private landlords. That’s wasteful, inefficient, and poor government.”
More homes for Britain
Highlighting how Labour intend to deliver more homes and alleviate the housing, Corbyn said “today I’m announcing that Labour will remove the artificial local borrowing cap and allow councils to borrow against their housing stock.
“That single measure alone would allow them to build an extra 12,000 council homes a year.
“Labour will, as Teresa Pearce said, build over a million new homes at least half of them council houses and we will control private rents, so we can give every British family that basic human right - a decent home.
And because housing deprivation drives so much of the inequality we see, here’s an idea. When we spend £9 billion under the Tories lining the pockets of private landlords, isn’t it time – as we have committed – to start building council houses again and provide decent homes for all.”