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Labour pledges “housing revolution” with biggest social housing plan since the 60s

LABOUR will outline plans for a “housing revolution” today, promising the biggest council-house-building programme in more than 50 years.

At the party’s manifesto launch in Birmingham, Jeremy Corbyn will express the party’s determination to see more “working-class and young people” living in social housing.

The party, if elected into government on December 12, intends to build 100,000 council homes a year and 50,000 housing association homes a year by the end of the next parliament.

The new homes, built to modern environmental standards, are expected to be funded by half of Labour’s “Social Transformation Fund” — around £75 billion over five years.

The last time that England saw more than 150,000 council and housing association homes built in total was 1967.

Government figures show that, under the Tories, the number of newly built social-rent homes fell by 90 per cent to fewer than 1,000 — and fewer than 3,000 council homes were built.

The National Housing Federation has said that the government spent just £1.27bn on so-called “affordable housing” last year, a 70 per cent decrease compared to 2010.

This makes “affordable housing” — meaning up to 80% of market rent, which can often be well out of range of the living wage — one of the smallest government budgets.

More than a million households are stuck on councils’ housing waiting lists, some for many years.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that over the last two decades, there had been a 46 per cent increase in the number of young people aged 20-34 living with their parents due to the lack of affordable housing.

Mr Corbyn will say today: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.

“I am determined to create a society where working class communities and young people have access to affordable, good-quality council and social homes.

“Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. Labour is offering real change to fix it.”

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said that Labour’s housing policies would amount to a “housing revolution” which would see “thousands more genuinely affordable homes for people on ordinary incomes in every area of the country.”

Experts have long been calling for social-rent homes to be built to deal with Britain’s housing crisis.

The Chartered Institute for Housing and the National Housing Federation say that 145,000 affordable homes a year are needed, while housing charity Shelter’s expert housing commission said an average of 155,000 social homes a year need to be built over the next 20 years.


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