Rayner says Labour will deliver “biggest boost to affordable housing for a generation”

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said the next Labour Government will deliver the biggest boost to affordable housing for a generation – with social and council housing at the heart of Labour’s secure homes plan. 

In comments ahead of her speech opening Labour Party Conference, Labour’s Shadow Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary said Labour would prevent developers ‘wriggling out of their responsibilities”, speeding up new social and affordable housing. [1] 

Whilst the Tories have snatched billions from affordable housing, Rayner pledged that Labour will unlock government grants to deliver new homes by making the Affordable Housing Programme more flexible, freeing up money stuck in the pipeline. [2] 

Rayner said Labour will give local authorities and housing associations stability for the long-term, so they have the confidence and security to invest in affordable, social and council housing stock.  

Labour’s announcement was welcomed by the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) and the National Housing Federation (NHF). 

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said:  

“Safe, secure, affordable home is the foundation of a good life and one that people are desperately waiting for. But over the last thirteen years, the Tories have taken a sledgehammer to that foundation and caused a housing emergency.  

“The next Labour Government will deliver the biggest boost to affordable, social and council housing for a generation, and get those social homes built, brick by brick. We’ll start by rebuilding the dream of a safe, secure, affordable home that the Tories have taken a wrecking ball to over the last thirteen years.   

“Developers have been let off the hook and for too long allowed to wriggle out of their responsibilities to provide new social and affordable homes. Labour will robustly hold them to account to deliver on their obligations to deliver affordable housing.“ 



Gavin Smart, CEO of the Chartered Institute for Housing, said: 

“If we’re going to tackle the housing crisis we need to accelerate (truly) affordable housing delivery, with clear targets, strategic planning and much needed capacity building. The proposals outlined today are a welcome first step in demonstrating the significance placed on this agenda, with recognition that the state has a key role to play. It’s good to also see a clear commitment to bringing forward reforms to the private rented and leasehold sectors. Everyone should have a decent, secure and affordable place to call home.” 

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said:  

“People in every community in the country are affected by the housing emergency. This is a crisis that has deep roots, and it will take time, commitment and political will to change. So I welcome this strong and ambitious support to help Housing Associations deliver the homes this country desperately needs.  

“The need for a long-term plan has never been plainer. Our research shows that, without action, by the end of the next Parliament nearly 5 million households will be living in unaffordable homes and 150,000 children will be facing homelessness. We need certainty and stability to be able to build, improve and maintain the safe and secure homes needed to keep up with demand. A long-term plan to solve the housing crisis will transform the health, economic security and life chances of millions, and it’s great to see recognition and understanding of the central role that social and affordable housing will play.” 


Labour will strengthen the rules to prevent developers wriggling out of their responsibilities, speeding up new social and affordable housing. We will: 

  • Upskill local authorities on Section 106 negotiations through an expert, central Take Back Control Unit. 
  • Increase transparency around the viability process for the development of new affordable and social housing by creating guidance on viability levels across different parts of the country and a model assessment form that developers and Councils can use when evaluating this. 
  • And ensure developers can no longer wriggle out of their commitments to build more social and affordable homes, by only allowing developers to challenge cases where there are genuine barriers to delivering these new homes. 

Where the Tories have snatched billions from affordable housing, Labour will unlock government grants to deliver new homes, by: 

  • Enabling officials to funnel funds to projects where there is higher demand, so funding for no-go projects can be freed up to create the housing people need. 
  • Allowing Homes England, Councils and housing associations to use a greater proportion of grant funds that they receive to buy social and affordable homes from existing housing stock, so they can get the homes needed and help deliver stalled sites. 
  • Improving economic modelling to better secure future funding. This would install appropriate contingency plans to stop external pressures from having such disproportionate effects on the programme in the future. 
  • And working more collaboratively with local leaders – who know their areas best – to better target funds. 

We’ll give local authorities and housing associations certainty and stability over time, so they have the confidence and security to invest in affordable, social and council housing stock: 

  • We will actively champion social and affordable housing to meet housing need, support the market to grow. 
  • And we will end the Tories’ approach of last-minute unplanned changes that wreak chaos and instability. 


The Affordable Housing Grant offers £7.3bn from 2021-2026 to build different types of affordable homes. Last year, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove handed £1.9bn of housing funds back to the Treasury which could have gone to affordable housing.