If elected, the Labour Party will prioritise housing by boosting affordable housing and pushing through planning, rental and leasehold reform to get more people onto the property ladder.
In a speech at the Labour party conference, which is taking place in Liverpool this week, Labour’s Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, Angela Rayner (pictured) noted that the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative conference did not mention housing once.
“No doubt that’s because his housing policy is the same as his new smoking policy – increase the price year on year, so eventually no one can buy,” she said.
More affordable housing
Rayner said that Labour would focus on delivering more affordable housing, including social housing, as well as ending the “medieval leasehold system, with root and branch reforms”.
She continued that the party would “unlock Government grants to deliver new homes” by making the Affordable Homes Programme more “flexible so that every penny gets out the door to build the homes people need”.
Rayner continued that it would work with local leads to use these funds “more effectively”.
She added that Labour would “strengthen rules” to prevent developers from “wriggling out of their responsibilities and we will speed up the building of new social and affordable housing” by reforming the planning system.
“We will deliver planning reform to build the houses the next generation so desperately needs,” Rayner said.
Elected local leaders will have powers to “stand up to vested interests in building new developments through a “specialist Government Take Bank Control Unit” to redress the balance.
“We will provide stability and certainty for the affordable and social housing market so there is confidence to invest. Affordable, social and council houses aren’t just a nice add-on.
“They’re fundamental to securing decent homes for all. A hammer to smash the class ceiling. And a lynchpin of the economy. They are quicker to occupy and build, and to get the growth we need. Creating reliable, well-paid, and highly skilled jobs in the process,” Rayner added.
Securing rental reform
She added that Labour would look to secure rental reform where the “Tories have failed for four and a half years” and follow through on banning no-fault evictions.
In 2019, the Conservative manifesto included a promise to ban no-fault evictions and the Renters Reform Bill was included in the Queen’s speech in 2019 but was not introduced in subsequent parliamentary sessions.
The bill is still awaiting its second reading in the House of Commons and has to go through 10 more stages after this before becoming law.
Boost for first-time buyers
Rayner continued that the Labour party would give first-time buyers first dibs on new developments in their communities and offer a “comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme for those who don’t have access to the bank of mum and dad”.
The Government currently offers a mortgage guarantee scheme that offers a guarantee alongside a 95% loan to value (LTV) mortgage. The scheme was renewed for a year at the end of 2022, meaning it expires at the end of this year.
“It’s Labour that is the party of home ownership because we understand what it means. To make your home. To start a family. To get on in life. And I know the difference a decent wage and a secure home can have,” Rayner said.
She said she would “personally” table legislation to implement its New Deal for Working People which aims to “boost wages, make work more secure and support working people to thrive”, within 100 days of taking office.