Labour conference backs building 155,000 social rent homes a year

Unanimous show of support for putting the motion to National Policy Forum.

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A bid to build 155,000 social rent homes a year has been backed unanimously at the Labour conference.

The vote doesn’t mean the motion automatically becomes policy – the party’s National Policy Forum  will decide whether the commitment makes it to the party’s manifesto.

But the extent of support at conference  is a string indication of adoption, driven by the report from Shelter’s social housing commission published in January, which identified more than three million new social homes as needed over the next 20 years.

The 33-point motion – as reported by 24housing – specifies that at least 100,000 of the 155,000 council homes.

Building would begin with “immediate effect” on Labour taking office.

The motion also made provision a housing grant of at least £10bn a year, ring fenced for delivering 100,000 social rented council homes to be announced at the first Budget of a new Labour government.

Councils would also get the “powers and resources” to take housing associations under direct control.

“This is a massive leap forward for the Labour Party, and we look forward to campaigning in the next general election with policies that will solve the housing crisis,” said Jamie Sweeney of the Labour Campaign for Council Housing, which led the campaign for the motion.

During his truncated conference, Jeremy Corbyn repeated previous pledges for Labour to adopt “the largest housebuilding programme in a generation”.

Conference also heard the party urged to make housing a human right, with delegates told: “A moral society does not allow people to die on the streets.”

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