With Leeds West the latest CLP to pass a motion calling for a Declaration of a Housing Emergency and government funding for a significant increase in the rate of delivery of social rent council homes, it is clear that there is a huge level of support within our Party for a call for action to resolve the housing crisis. Disappointingly as the crisis continues to gather pace in 2022, this support has not yet been reflected in any statements from Labour’s front bench team.
In a speech on 4th January, our Party Leader referenced Keir Hardie’s belief that ‘ British socialism was rooted in the everyday concerns of working people’. Keir Starmer then set out his own vision for Britain with a broad range of references to the the nations challenges from Covid to crime, but not a single mention of housing, one of the key concerns of working people and a major factor in the cost of living crisis.
In an interview with Polly Toynbee at the Fabian Conference last week, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor and MP for Leeds West, discussed the challenges facing the UK. The major challenge of ensuring that, in the face of massively increasing housing costs, everyone has a decent, affordable and secure home, did not get a mention.
And we are yet to hear any significant contribution on the subject of the housing crisis from the Shadow secretary of state Lisa Nandy.
The Labour Campaign for Council Housing is working to address this inertia within our parliamentary Party, starting with plans to put down an Early Day Motion reflecting the call for a housing emergency. Once finalised we would urge all our supporters to encourage their MPs to sign it.
David Hide and Carol Hayton