Build more homes, leader tells Mrs May
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.”