Tuesday 7 February 2017 / 11:10 AM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

The measures announced so far in Theresa May’s long-promised housing white paper are feeble beyond belief – Healey

Commenting on further detail on the content of the government’s white paper on housing, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey MP said:

“The measures announced so far in Theresa May’s long-promised housing white paper are feeble beyond belief.

“After seven years of failure and a thousand housing announcements, the housing crisis is getting worse not better.

“There are 200,000 fewer home-owners, homelessness has doubled, and affordable house-building has slumped to a 24 year low

“Ministers should be setting out clear plans to deal with these problems, but all Theresa May’s Ministers have delivered so far is hot air.

“The government should instead back Labour’s plan to fix the housing crisis – thousands more affordable homes to rent and buy, a charter of renters’ rights and action to end to rough sleeping homelessness.”


•         The government’s announcements on housing to date: https://www.gov.uk/government/announcements?keywords=&announcement_filter_option=all&topics%5B%5D=housing&departments%5B%5D=all&world_locations%5B%5D=all&from_date=06%2F05%2F2010&to_date=

•         The government’s record:

– The number of households who own their own home has fallen by 200,000, with the number of under-35 households owning a home down by 344,000.

– There are over 900,000 more households renting from a private landlord than in 2010 including one in four families with dependent children, but rents have risen faster than incomes.  

– Despite 13 separate cuts to housing benefit, including the bedroom tax, the housing benefit bill is £4bn higher each year in cash terms.

– There are 143,000 fewer council homes than in 2010, with only one home in every six sold under the right to buy replaced, despite promises of ‘one for one’ replacement. Measures in the recent housing and planning act are set to mean the loss of 23,503 council houses a year according to the housing charity Shelter.

– According to the Government-commissioned Local Plan Expert Group it is now taking councils almost a year (306 days) longer to adopt vital local plans for housing than in 2009. Among the main reasons are: “a lack of political will and commitment”, “a lack of clarity on key issues”, “too many changes… of policy”, and “a lack of guidance, support and resources”.  We’ve had constant chop and change but no improvement, despite six piece of planning legislation in six years under the Tories.