Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Labour will be holding a review into social housing policy. In his leader’s speech at his party conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn pledged that Labour would be proposing major reforms to the current “failed and broken system, that Labour must – and will – replace.” Mr Corbyn said that the review would involve speaking to social housing tenants across the country and that the new programme would be ready in time for Labour’s next party conference.
A significant portion of Mr Corbyn’s speech was focussed on the redevelopment of social housing estates. Criticising local planning authorities and developers, Mr Corbyn said that currently redevelopment often really means “forced gentrification and social cleansing, as private developers move in and tenants and leaseholders are moved out.” He vowed that “regeneration under a Labour government will be for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators”.
To put this into practice, Mr Corbyn proposed that people who live on an estate that is redeveloped must get a home on the same site and the same terms as before. He also proposed that councils will have to win a ballot of existing tenants and leaseholders before any redevelopment scheme can take place.
Mr Corbyn’s announcement comes in the wake Communities Secretary Sajid Javid’s speech at the National Housing Federation conference, at which he said that the Government will be bringing forward a Green Paper on social housing in England. Mr Javid indicated that the Green Paper would be wide ranging, and would look at the overall quality of social homes, service management, the way social homes and their tenants are taken care of, the rights of tenants and show how tenants voices can be better heard.