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Delegates pressure Sir Keir to back new wave of council housing

Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt

DELEGATES at the Labour Party conference put pressure on Sir Keir Starmer today to commit to building a new wave of council housing.

Calls for fully funded councils to build 150,000 new social-rent homes each year, including 100,000 council homes, were included in a motion – which passed by show of hands as the Morning Star went to press – tabled by the Labour Housing Group.

The motion also proposed an end to the “right to buy” scheme in order to protect existing stock, a review of council housing debt to address the underfunding of housing revenue accounts, a right to adequate housing to be enshrined in law, and the establishment of a “housing first” system aimed at ending homelessness.

Opening the debate, shadow housing secretary Lucy Powell said that Labour’s “new settlement for housing,” which includes plans to build more affordable homes and to bar foreign buyers from gobbling up housing stock, would help families to access quality housing.

She also backed “a massive increase in council and social homes” but her speech did not make specific indications that this would involve a mass building project such as that advocated in the motion.

Many delegates spoke out in favour of such a plan, as well as an end to no-fault evictions and caps on spiralling renting costs.

In an impassioned speech, councillor Julie Reid of Manchester Gorton constituency Labour Party told delegates that more council housing was needed so that people could have a dignified place to live. 

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