Build more homes, leader tells Mrs May

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

pres­sure on the hous­ing mar­ket: ● Ditch a ban on long-term coun­cil house ten­an­cies. ● Drop leg­is­la­tion aimed at forc­ing the sale of so­cial hous­ing. ● Clar­ify the law so coun­cils can of­fer homes to res­i­dents first with­out be­ing chal­lenged in the courts. ● Raise the Hous­ing Rev­enue Ac­count bor­row­ing cap. ● Sus­pend right-to-buy, al­low­ing coun­cils to re­in­state it only if they can prove a plan to re­place homes sold one-forone and like-for-like. ● Scrap the ‘ bed­room tax’, which the let­ter said pun­ished ten­ants for not down­siz­ing even when no smaller prop­er­ties are avail­able. ● Re­cy­cle hous­ing ben­e­fit sav­ings from the af­ford­able hous­ing pro­gramme to tackle the causes of the ‘hous­ing cri­sis’, rather than re­ly­ing on higher hous­ing ben­e­fit spend­ing. ● Build homes for ‘liv­ing rent’ over the Par­lia­ment, with rents capped at a third of rel­e­vant area in­comes so pri­vate renters can save for a de­posit on a first home. ● Build 100,000 af­ford­able homes to rent and buy a year by the end of the Par­lia­ment in­clud­ing at least 100,000 FirstBuy Homes where mort­gage costs do not ex­ceed a third of av­er­age in­comes. ● Re­store fund­ing for the De­cent Homes pro­gramme so more so­cial hous­ing homes meet a de­cent stan­dard.

Part of the let­ter said: “Your con­fer­ence an­nounce­ment fol­lows in a long line of pol­icy de­ci­sions that Tory min­is­ters have made on hous­ing since 2010, which has done noth­ing to fix the cur­rent hous­ing cri­sis, and in many cases made the prob­lems worse.

“We are call­ing on you to give coun­cils the fair fund­ing to de­liver not just a large-scale house build­ing pro­gramme, but also the range of vi­tal ser­vices com­mu­ni­ties rely on.

“Coun­cils have seen their bud­gets cut by 40% in just the first five years of this decade.

“We are also call­ing on you to fol­low Labour’s ex­am­ple, as spelt out in Labour’s hous­ing man­i­festo at the elec­tion, and act to tackle the chronic lack of af­ford­able houses.”

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