Inside Housing – News – Labor pledges to reform affordable rents to reach 30% of income
The Labor Party is committed to reforming affordable rents to match around 30% of average household incomes and forcing developers to build more âtruly affordable homesâ.
Labor ghost housing secretary Lucy Powell (photo: Chris McAndrew)
Labor Party vows to reform affordable rents to be around 30% of average household incomes and force developers to build more ‘really affordable houses’ #UKhousing
In a speech at the party’s annual conference on Sunday, shadow housing secretary Lucy Powell is expected to make a series of pledges to tackle the housing crisis if her party is elected.
Labor would reestablish the link between “truly affordable housing and an average income” to help those “excluded from the system,” she should say.
As part of this, if elected, Labor would seek to redefine affordable rent to around 30% of household income. Affordable rent is currently defined as around 80% of local market rents.
It is understood that Labor believes lowering the cost of affordable rents means people will be able to save more if they want to buy property. The policy echoes Jeremy Corbyn’s plans in the 2019 Labor manifesto to tie affordable rents to local incomes.
Ms Powell will also seek to redefine Labor as a home ownership party.
She said: âThe country is facing a housing crisis with the link between hard work and access to the housing ladder broken for many.
âPrecarious rentals and high rents make life difficult for people who play by the rules. The challenges of affordability, an aging population, building safety and the climate emergency mean that we need a bold new approach. “
His speech will come just over a week after it emerged that new Housing Secretary Michael Gove had put the government’s controversial planning reforms on hold. Labor has suggested that means there is now a lack of a government strategy to meet ministers’ targets of building 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s.
Keir Starmer’s party is also committed to giving local authorities and communities new powers to develop land for affordable housing. He is also committed to closing the gaps that he says currently allow developers to avoid building more affordable housing.
Ask by Inside the accommodation for more details on the ambition to force developers to build more affordable housing, a Labor spokesperson said it would make the system of contributions “stronger, clearer and more transparent” to “mean that there is less haggling, communities know what to expect from new developments, and developers cannot move the goalposts once a deal has been made. â
Ms Powell’s attempt to define Labor as the homeownership party will be an effort to steal the Conservatives’ claim.
“Work is the party of homeownership, the Conservatives are the party of speculators and developers,” she said. âThey treat housing as a commodity, not as the foundation for stable lives and chances to live. “
As part of this strategy, it would present plans to give first-time buyers the exclusive right to purchase new homes for six months.
Labor’s 2019 manifesto, edited by Jeremy Corbyn, said first-time buyers would get a ‘first shot’ at new homes being built in their area.
Labor is also promising to end what it calls the “scandalous practice of foreign buyers buying parts of new off-plan real estate developments, before locals can even see them.”
Ms Powell reportedly said Labor would limit the number of units in a development that can be purchased by foreign buyers to 50%.
In its 2019 manifesto, Labor introduced a tax on foreign companies that buy housing.
The party would also seek to reform purchase orders to “revitalize” city centers and shopping streets and allow the reuse of vacant stores, potentially as affordable housing.
The Labor Party conference begins tomorrow and continues until Wednesday, September 29.