Lib Dems vote to keep housing target ahead of General Election

The Lib Dem members threw out a proposal by the party's leaders to drop its housing target of 380,000 new homes every year.

libdems housing

Liberal Democrats have rejected a move by the party’s leadership to abandon a housing target of 380,000 new homes every year.

The move could be significant if the Lib Dems enter a coalition with one of the other main parties after next year’s expected General Election.

The party leaders wanted to drop the target for England, but members backed a motion from younger activists to keep it, at the party’s conference in Bournemouth.

Risked

The Young Lib Dems group said ditching an overall target risked putting off young voters.

The group’s chair, Janey Little, told party members that housing had become unaffordable for many younger people, and the target showed them that “we as Liberal Democrats are listening”.

The party leadership had proposed replacing the target with a pledge to build 150,000 social homes a year, with “binding” affordable housing quotas for councils.

Utterly failed to deliver the homes we need.”

Helen Morgan MP

Helen Morgan, the party’s housing spokeswoman, said the targets had “utterly failed to deliver the homes we need”.

She added that the party needed a policy that “will actually deliver homes.”

Backlash

The Government has set out plans to water the targets down, in the face of a backlash from Conservative MPs.

The target to build 300,000 homes every year was abandoned in December after housing secretary Michael Gove decided it should be changed.

It became ‘advisory’ after a threatened rebellion by 60 MPs as the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill was debated in Parliament.


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