Our campaign’s south west regional rep, Kate Ewert, reports that the South East Cornwall Constituency Labour Party has passed our model resolution on Labour Party policy (see below). Kate was delegate from her CLP to the 2019 Labour Party conference and mover of the composite resolution which called for Labour to commit to £10 billion a year annual grant to fund building 100,000 council homes a year, and to end Right to Buy rather than just suspending it. These policies were incorporated in the General Election Manifesto.
Of the 41 members present 37 voted for the resolution, the others had technical difficulties with the internet connection or with the voting system.
“We had a really good debate on housing. Our only county councillor said we need to go further with stopping housing associations having anything to do with provision of social housing. One member argued we should keep RTB, he was won around though.”
Labour housing policy
This CLP is concerned at signals that the leadership of the Party may be rowing back on our existing housing policy. Shadow Housing Minister Thangam Debbonaire has raised the possibility that Labour might support 100% receipts for councils for Right to Buy sales, instead of ending RTB. Keir Starmer’s speech at the virtual Party conference referred to “fixing the housing crisis” only in terms of helping young people to become homeowners. He did not mention council housing.
We agree with the Labour Campaign for Council Housing that the housing crisis can only begin to be resolved with a large scale council house building programme.
We agree to write to Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and Thangam Debbonaire calling on the Party to maintain its 2019 commitment to
- 155,000 social rent homes a year
- Of which at least 100,000 would be council homes funded by £10 billion grant a year
- Ending Right to Buy
- Review council housing ‘debt’.
Whilst the general election defeat obviously meant we could not implement these policies directly, we cannot wait until the next general election to tackle the housing crisis. The pandemic has shown the health consequences of poor and over-crowded housing. The likely spike in evictions will make the shortage of council housing even more acute.
Therefore, we call on Labour to campaign together with all those organisations that recognise the need for a large scale council building programme, including the growing tenants movement, to pressure a weak and shambolic government to make a U-turn on council house funding. We need to press these demands on the government.