Scottish Labour Look To Follow Sadiq's Success In Housebuilding
Labour has announced they will build over a million affordable homes over the next ten years, if they win the next election.
At the launch of the Labour’s “Housing for the Many” green paper, Jeremy Corbyn said that a Labour government would usher in “a new era of social housing”, through a massive house building program, increasing accountability within housing associations, and creating a ‘Land Trust’ to reduce land-banking by big property developers.
Scottish Labour has pointed to Sadiq Khan’s success in meeting his housing target of building 12,000 new affordable homes in London, with 12,526 being started in 2017-18, as proof of the what is possible under devolution with enough political will. More social housing has been constructed since Sadiq came to office than in the last four years combined - and with lower rents than before.
In an article of the Daily Mirror, the London Mayor slammed the Conservative government for letting funding for affordable homes fall to “less than half the level they inherited from Labour in 2010.” Sadiq has also altered the definition of ‘affordable housing’ to be in line with income, rather than the ludicrous 80% of market rate level set by the government. His team are on track to exceed their target of 116,000 truly affordable homes by 2020.
Labour’s plans would be the most ambitious home-building project since 1978, with more than six times as many homes being built than current levels.
Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard has congratulated Sadiq Khan, tweeting that “[Scottish Labour] is committed to a Mary Barbour law which will reform the private rented sector and also to help end Scotland’s housing crisis.”
Reforming housing, especially in the private rented sector, formed a large part of Richard Leonard’s bid for the party leadership, and was a central plank of his address to the Scottish Labour party conference last month.
Pauline McNeill, Scottish Labour’s Housing Spokesperson said “I am taking forward the Mary Barbour Law as a Members bill and we working hard to put the case together and hope to consult in the bill very soon. We plan to be much more ambitious than the SNP to make rents fairer for those in private sector paying exorbitantly high rents compared to income.
“Labour will have an ambitious programme on homes for rent in the social sector. This must be on a far bigger scale than in recent years. Affordable housing must also be genuinely affordable.”
“To tackle poverty and inequality we will prioritise housing and reducing the costs for the many.”