Calling all Labour Conference-goers – support LHG contemporary resolution!

Information for all Constituency Labour Parties and delegates attending LP Conference this weekend.

The Conference Arrangements Committee met earlier today to consider the contemporary resolutions submitted by CLPs and affiliates. The CAC decided that the resolution submitted by Labour Housing Group counts as contemporary and will go forward to the Priorities Ballot on Sunday 25 September.

The Labour Housing Group is asking CLPs and their delegates to Party Conference to vote in favour of having Housing as one of the Contemporary Resolutions to be debated.  The Resolution submitted by LHG is below.  The Resolution is ‘contemporary’ because the Government’s relevant figures on the increase in levels of homelessness and unemployment and the dramatic fall in home building were not published until either August or start of September, making the issues ‘contemporary’ according to Party Conference rules.

Tackling the Housing Crisis

We note with alarm the recent sharp jump in unemployment by 80,000 to two and a half million people, the sharp fall in house building to just 23,400 homes last quarter – the 18% jump in homelessness over 12 months and the £1.3 billion pa rise in Housing Benefit payments.

Together, these figures are an indictment of a Government which is ideologically obsessed with cutting investment but is blind to its inevitable consequences –  increased homelessness and  joblessness, rising market rents, and the inability of young and middle aged households the opportunity to either buy or rent a decent home.

We ask Conference to call for an emergency programme of investment in quality new homes, which will provide employment, generate tax income, reduce homelessness and the cost of emergency accommodation, and reduce expenditure on unemployment and housing benefits.

A tax of £1bn a year from Bankers bonuses would cause little hardship to the recipients, and yet could fund around 50,000 extra new homes every year which could be available at well below market rent levels.

Given the huge increase in housing benefit going to fund private landlords, we also call for regulatory change to shift the financing of private sector landlord investment away from purchasing existing second hand homes (in competition with first time buyers), and towards investment in New Properties. This will result in an increase in quality supply, and better opportunities for younger and middle aged families to purchase a home.

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