Labour's Shadow Housing Team

The Tories’ nine years of failure on housing

After nine years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis:

Failure on affordable homes

  • Under the Tories, the number of new social rented homes has fallen by over 80%, so we are now building 30,000 fewer socially rented homes each year than under Labour.
  • The number of new homes for affordable home ownership has almost halved since 2010.
  • Conservative Ministers have failed to deliver the promised one-for-one replacements for homes sold through the right-to-buy – instead only one is being built for every four sold.

Failure on building new homes

  • According to Government figures, house-building still hasn’t recovered to the level it was before the Global Financial Crisis, 10 years on.

Failure on home-ownership

  • There are nearly 900,000 fewer home-owning households under 45 than in 2010.
  • The overall level of home-ownership has fallen since 2009-10 from 67.4%to 63.5% in 2017-18.

Failure on private renting

  • The number of people in the private rented sector has increased by over 1 million households since 2010. One in four families with children now rent privately – equivalent to 1.6 million.
  • Average private rents have risen by £1,900 a year compared to 2010, way ahead of real wages.

Failure on homelessness and rough sleeping

  • Over 120,000 children are recorded as homeless in temporary accommodation – an increase of 70% since 2010.
  • Rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 according to Government figures, rising from 1,768 in 2010 to 4,677 in 2018.

Failure on high-rise fire safety

  • Up to 60,000 people are still living in tower blocks covered with the same flammable ACM cladding as the Grenfell Tower. The latest Government figures show eight in ten (265 out of 334) residential blocks have still not been made safe. The latest Government figures show eight in ten (265 out of 334) residential blocks have still not been made safe.


Labour’s alternative

The Conservatives can’t fix the country’s housing crisis. Labour in Government will.

  1. Build a million genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy over 10 years, scrapping the Tories’ definition of ‘affordable’ housing and replace it with a new definition linked to local incomes
  2. Halt the right to buy and give councils the new funding and powers they need to kick-start the biggest council house building programme in nearly 40 years
  3. Scrap ‘no fault’ evictions, control rents for private renters and give councils new powers to regulate the private rented sector
  4. End rough sleeping within five years, with a new £100m plan for emergency winter accommodation for every rough sleeper in every area and 8,000 new homes earmarked for those with a history of rough sleeping
  5. Allow councils to charge a 300% council tax premium on properties that have been empty for more than a year
  6. Bring in a new Decent Homes 2 standard for all council and housing association homes to make them warm, safe and dry, and fund the retrofitting of sprinklers in all high-rise social housing tower blocks
  7. Build new homes for ‘living rent’, with rents linked to a third of local incomes, and FirstBuy Homes where mortgage costs are linked to a third of average local incomes
  8. Create an English Sovereign Land Trust to take the profiteering out of the land market and make more land available at a cheaper price to aid the building of new homes.
  9. Scrap the punitive bedroom tax
  10. Introduce a new ‘zero carbon’ homes standard for new homes to reduce emissions and help lower household bills

There’s more in our 2017 housing manifesto, Housing for the Many green paper and New deal for Leasehold’s consultation document:

Labour’s Housing Manifesto, General election 2017:

Housing for the Many, Labour’s green paper, 2018:

Labour’s new deal for leaseholders, 2019:

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