Social housing has come under the spotlight time and time again since the Conservative’s came to power in May, with major controversy over their extension of the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants.
Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he opposes the Right to Buy scheme but what does he plan to bring to the table to help housing associations and councils provide much needed affordable homes for our communities?
The main focus of Corbyn’s housing policy is to help drive down house prices in the UK by introducing the following measures:
Instead of abolishing the Right to Buy scheme however Corbyn believes that, by reducing the discount offered to tenants through the scheme and allowing the receipts from sale of Right to Buy properties to remain in the area, more like for like replacement homes can be built. In certain circumstances he would also allow Local Authorities to opt out of the Right to Buy scheme in order to retain their assets where this could prove detrimental to the council. Corbyn is also against the compulsory selling of high-value council homes in order to fund the building of new affordable homes.
There has been much confusion over what is actually meant by affordable housing so Corbyn plans to clarify the definition of an affordable home and ensure that it is not just a slight discount from the market rate.
Corbyn wants housing associations to go back to their roots and focus on providing good quality homes to those in need by introducing greater regulations for the sector.
The Conservative’s extension of permitted development rights has come under criticism by Corbyn who believes it is decreasing the amount of affordable homes and community facilities such as schools and leisure facilities that are made available through residential conversions. As without the need for planning permission there is no requirement for assessments regarding the facilities and infrastructure for the community including affordable housing.
Read more about the Conservatives housing policies for the social housing sector to see how they differ from the new Labour plans.
By Anna Symington