Labour would aim to “fix the housing crisis” through the construction of a million “truly affordable” new homes, while also working to empower local councils to start building at scale again, according to shadow housing secretary John Healey.
In his speech at conference yesterday, Mr Healey said: “We will get councils building council housing again, and build a million new truly affordable council and housing association homes.”
A Labour government would also introduce a new national levy on second homes used as holiday homes in a bid to “strike a blow against housing inequality” and help give homeless families the chance of a first home”, he said.
Mr Healey criticised the government for its role in the national housing shortage, which he termed a “crisis of inequality”.
“It will fall to Labour to put a brake on the growing gap between Britain’s housing ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ and ensure that those who have done well out of the housing market do not leave behind those with no home at all”, said Mr Healey.
Meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell announced plans for “a new publicly-owned water system that puts this essential service back in the hands of local councils, workers and customers” whereby any “surpluses will be reinvested in water infrastructure and staff, or used to reduce bills”.