Recently London Labour Housing Group @lhglondon sent a questionnaire on a range of housing issues to the Labour leadership contenders. The reply from Jeremy Corbyn was published last week. To date, the other three contenders have not replied. However, Yvette Cooper MP and Liz Kendall MP have submitted articles to the Labour Housing Group newsletter, and Andy Burnham MP has a housing policy section in his manifesto. With ballot papers going out imminently, and having published Jeremy’s policy we think it fair to publish a piece by the others, starting today with Andy Burnham.
The whole of Andy’s Manifesto can be read here. It begins with five headline policy commitments, one of which concerns housing. Andy promises
An affordable home for all to rent or own – by freeing councils to build new homes and introducing regulation of the private rented sector
The housing section of the Manifesto is as follows:
An affordable home for all to rent or own
For too many people, the dream of having a place to call their own has faded away. My vision is of a society where everyone has an affordable home to rent or to own – through the most ambitious housing policy since the post-war period.
I will lift the arbitrary central government borrowing caps that prevent local authorities from building more social housing, freeing our councils to deliver good quality homes once more.
I will create a new National Housing Commission to drive progress in every area, ensuring new homes are built with affordable rents. I will develop the option of ‘Rent to Own’ – mortgages that require no deposit. These government-backed schemes will help councils and housing associations to provide good quality homes, while helping those who want to get onto the property ladder with a Home Purchase Plan. ‘Rent to Own’ would give aspiring first-time buyers a clear route into home ownership and a way out of the ‘rental trap’.
I will make it easier for councils to crack down on absent landlords who receive Housing Benefit but allow their property to fall below an acceptable standard, blighting the lives of their tenants and the wider neighbourhood. And I want to devolve real power to local communities to regulate the private rented sector, including the power to introduce rent controls.
To follow: Yvette Cooper MP and Liz Kendall MP.