Party will spend big to build 150,000 council and social homes a year if it wins next month’s general election
The Labour party will today promise a £75bn “housing revolution”, along with what it promises will be “the biggest council housebuilding programme in decades”.
As part of its manifesto, which will be unveiled by party leader Jeremy Corbyn later today, Labour said if it wins the general election on 12 December it will commit to building 100,000 council homes a year through to the end of the next Parliament.
It also promises to partner with housing associations and deliver 50,000 “genuinely affordable” social homes annually over the same period.
The party said its ambitious housing plans would be paid for with half of its proposed £150bn Social Transformation Fund.
Details of the programme’s funding – its “Grey Book” – will be published alongside the manifesto.
Labour said it would ditch the Conservatives’ definition of “affordable” housing and instead link it to local incomes, including social rent – which it said worked out at approximately half the level of market rents – together with a new living rent and homes for low-cost ownership.
Yesterday government figures revealed that only 6,827 council homes had been built in England in the year to March 2019.
The peak for council homes delivery in the past 25 years was in 1995/96, when nearly 57,000 council properties were built.
Citing “cutting edge design and green standards”, Labour said the recent Stirling Prize-winning council house scheme in Norwich, Goldsmith Street, would be the benchmark for its new council housing could look like.
Speaking ahead of the manifesto’s launch, shadow housing secretary John Healey said the next Labour government would “kick-start a housing revolution, with the biggest investment in new council and social homes this country has seen for decades.
“Labour’s transformational housing plans will mean thousands more genuinely affordable homes for people on ordinary incomes in every area of the country.
“Our modern council and social housing will be built to cutting-edge design and green standards providing a long-term investment in our country’s future.”