Labour proposes one million genuinely affordable homes with new definition of affordable housing linked to incomes
Labour has launched an affordable housing review and Green Paper consultation which proposes to build a million new genuinely affordable homes over ten years, the majority for social rent, and a new definition of affordable housing linked to incomes.
The ‘Housing for the Many’ review sets out the Party’s aim to make affordable housing available to a broad range of people on ordinary incomes, including the ‘real middle’ of households that are currently defined as too well-off for existing social housing, but struggle to afford to buy a home. It also outlines Labour's plans to build housing at a scale not seen since the 1970s.
John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said at the launch of the consultation:
“We have to build more affordable homes to make homes more affordable. This Green Paper sets out our plan to change the country’s approach to affordable housing as part of a new national mission to solve the country’s housing crisis.”
Among the proposals set out for consultation are:
- Redefining ‘affordable housing’ by scrapping the Conservatives’ so-called ‘Affordable Rent’ at up to 80 per cent of market rents, and introducing a new definition linked to incomes including: social rent, living rent and low-cost ownership
- A new ‘duty to deliver’ affordable housing for councils, with a new needs assessment and enhanced ‘new homes bonus’ for affordable housing
- A new English Sovereign Land Trust to make more land available, more cheaply
- New borrowing freedoms and central funding to get councils and housing associations building at scale
- A fully-fledged new Department for Housing, which will drive through our New Deal on housing.
Specifically to deal with the problems raised by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, the Green Paper will propose:
- A new ‘Decent Homes’ target for social landlords, to include fire safety for the first time
- A new independent national organisation and a Commissioner to represent the views of tenants
- New reforms to increase transparency in the social housing sector by extending the Freedom of Information Act to housing associations and ensuring the routine public release of fire safety reports
- Fast-track reforms to allow tenants to take council and housing association landlords to court if their homes aren’t safe
We want to hear your views. Labour is encouraging anyone with an interest in developing housing policy to get involved and submit their response online at: