Manifesto 2019:Tackle Poverty and Inequality - Housing - Council and Social Homes

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Council and Social Homes

The only way to deliver on everyone’s right to a good home is to build publicly funded social housing.

Labour will deliver a new social housebuilding programme of more than a million homes over a decade, with council housing at its heart. By the end of the Parliament we will be building at an annual rate of at least 150,000 council and social homes, with 100,000 of these built by councils for social rent in the biggest council housebuilding programme in more than a generation. We will establish a new duty on councils to plan and build these homes in their area, and fund them to do so, with backing from national government.

We will scrap the Conservatives’ bogus definition of ‘affordable’, set as high as 80% of market rents, and replace it with a definition linked to local incomes. These council and housing association homes will be more affordable than market housing and built to higher standards. We will end the conversion of office blocks to homes that sidestep planning permission through ‘permitted development’.

We will stop the haemorrhage of low- cost homes by ending the right to buy, along with the forced conversion of social rented homes to so-called ‘affordable rent’. We will review the case for reducing the amount of housing debt councils currently hold. And we will give councils the powers and funding to buy back homes from private landlords.

We will give tenants a stronger say in the management of their homes and stop social cleansing by making sure regeneration only goes ahead when it has the consent of residents, and that all residents are offered a new property on the same site and terms. We will fund a new Decent Homes programme to bring all council and housing association homes up to a good standard.