SOLVING THE HOUSING SHORTAGE
The rED's army campaign focussed on housing issues this weekend. Housing development should be community led providing the right mix of social housing, affordable housing and other housing.
It needs to be properly planned with community and council input on the infrastructure that is needed to support this. The Labour Party Manifesto contains comprehensive plans to
- revive house-building and get 200,000 houses built each year by 2020 (house-building under the Conservatives is at its lowest since the 1930's)
- making capital investment in housing a priority and allow local authorities more flexibility to invest in new social housing.
- ensure local communities are able to take the lead in development
- ensuring private developers build affordable housing as part of developments
- provide greater protection for tenants with 3 year tenancies and protection from letting agent fees.
In Wycombe the Conservative council sold off all the council houses to Red Kite at a fraction of their real value. None of the proceeds have yet been used to build more social housing - it has been used to build offices and a sports centre. The Conservative plan to give the right to buy to housing association tenants may spell the end to council housing in Wycombe. Housing Associations rely on their stock of houses to borrow money to build more. If their stock is sold their ability to build will be lost.
The Conservative Government forced Wycombe to release the 5 reserve sites even though doing so means any development will be mainly developer led and will not have the sort of community input and infrastructure planning that people want.
Secure and affordable housing is a basic human need. A home is the foundation on which the rest of our daily lives is built.
A fair society make the ability to acquire a secure home a priority. Labour will deliver a fair society and re-new society's commitment to secure and affordable housing for all.