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Labour launches radical housing policy push including rent controls and ‘locals first’ new homes

Corbyn has launched an assault on the property market including banning Right to Rent checks, greater tenant rights and a huge council building programme.

Nigel Lewis


Labour has published its ‘radical’ manifesto including new policies on home building, a promise to reform Help to Buy, a plan to tax overseas companies that buy UK property and giving locals ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their neighbourhoods.

This includes creating a separate Department for Housing and an English Sovereign Land Trust to acquire public land for house building.

“This is what the industry needs, far more than housebuilding pledges that lack any real roadmap for how they will be delivered, which is what we’ve seen from parties in the past,” says Joseph Daniels (left), founder of modular developer Project Etopia.

“Talk is often cheap and the industry is crying out for meaningful change to allow developers to unlock land and bring it forward for development. “If this is achieved the country could see a real turning point in public policy to help solve the housing crisis.”

Right to rent

In the private rental market, Labour proposes to end Right to Rent checks, bring in local rent controls, mandate open-ended tenancies and create minimum legal standards for rented properties.

Like Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn also wants to ban Section 21 ‘no fault’ notice evictions but unlike the Conservatives would bring in a national licensing scheme for landlords enforced by ‘tougher’ penalties.

“Labour will stop runaway rents by capping them with inflation, and give cities powers to cap rents further,” the manifesto says.

And in a surprise move, Labour says it would directly fund the dozen or so Renters Unions that operate around the UK to help tenants ‘organise and defend their rights’, and says landlords should be prevented by law from excluding benefit claimants.

“Everyone knows of someone affected by the housing crisis: younger people unable to buy a first home, renters trapped in damp flats, families stuck on council waiting lists, leasehold home-owners hit by unfair fees, people who are homeless living and dying on our streets,” says Corbyn.

“The gap between the housing haves and have-nots is at the heart of the injustice in our country today.”

Read the manifesto in full.
November 22, 2019

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