Social homes pledge comes under fire

John Healey
John Healey
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LABOUR have branded a Conservative promise to build thousands of new council houses “spin” after it emerged there will be no new money behind the policy.

The Prime Minister promised action to “fix the broken housing” market by providing money to councils and housing associations to build a new generation of high quality social housing to help the 1.2m families on housing waiting lists.

Theresa May said a proportion of the new houses would be made available to buy by social tenants between 10 and 15 years after construction with the money raised going into funding further new homes,

It later emerged the plan would be paid for by £1.4bn allocated in last year’s Autumn Statement to help build 40,000 homes.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey, who is defending the Wentworth and Dearne seatfor Labour, said: “This is political spin, with no substance. There’s no commitment on the number of new affordable homes or on new funding.

“Under Theresa May and the Tories we’ve seen seven years of failure on housing, with the level of new affordable housebuilding now at a 24-year low.

“The number of government funded social rented homes being built has fallen to fewer than 1,000 last year from almost 40,000 under Labour in 2009-10.

“Theresa May has been at every cabinet since 2010 and can’t sidestep her share of the blame for the Tory housing crisis.”