Latest Public Sector News

28.08.12

Each Labour council to build 100 social homes by 2015

The Labour party has accused Conservatives of failing to build enough social housing for the poorest people in their communities, following a freedom of information request to all English councils. 

The housing minister Grant Shapps called the survey “completely bogus”. 

Labour claims their councils will build five times the number planned under Conservative-led councils before the end of parliament. The FOI request showed that Tory councils will build on average 20 social homes by 2015, compared to 100 by authorities under Labour. 

Last year there was a 91% fall in the number of social homes built, from 35,690 to 3,305 and almost five million people are on waiting lists for social housing. 

Industry experts have suggested that many developers bought the majority of their land at the height of the property boom and now need higher rent than many of the people on these waiting lists can afford. 

Hilary Benn, the shadow communities secretary, said: “These figures couldn't be clearer: Labour councils are building many more social homes than Tory councils, showing what a difference it makes having Labour in government locally. 

“By choosing to make social housing a priority, Labour is providing much-needed homes, creating jobs and boosting local economies. Ministers keep telling us we have a housing crisis, but their Tory colleagues are simply failing to build the homes that people need, at a rent they can afford.” 

In a statement, Shapps said: “This government is delivering £19.5bn of funding to build 170,000 more affordable homes across the whole of England from 2011 to 2015. 

“Contracts have been signed for building in council areas of all political colours, including 55,000 in London being delivered by a Conservative mayor. This survey is completely bogus and yet another dodgy dossier from Labour.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com 

Image c. John Blower

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