‘Labour needs to help young onto housing ladder’ - Healey

John Healey
John Healey
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A LABOUR MP has argued the party should prioritise housing help for young people after uncovering figures showing a major drop off in home ownership in Yorkshire.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey highlighted figures showing the number of homeowner households has fallen by more than 200,000 over the last six years.

Yorkshire accounts for almost half of that loss with the number of homeowning households, dropping by almost 94,000, the figures show.

Labour has promised to build one millione new homes over the next parliament if it wins the 2020 general election with half devoted to providing social housing.

The Conservatives have traditionally championed homeownership but Mr Healey argued Labour had its own tradition of making sure people could buy their own home.

Mr Healey, a housing minister in Gordon Brown’s government, said: “A million more households became home-owners under the last Labour government but home-ownership has plummeted under the Tories.

“I’ll always fight for more council and public rented homes, but Labour’s fight must also be to stop home-ownership becoming an option only for the rich.

“It’s why Jeremy Corbyn was right to take Theresa May to task on the Tories’ terrible record in his first PMQs after the summer.

“Our party’s pro-ownership conviction wasn’t invented by New Labour. For more than half a century it’s been one of Labour’s guiding aims to give people on ordinary incomes the opportunity to own a home – from Harold Wilson to Tony Crosland to Peter Shore.”

The figures published by Mr Healey revealed the scale of the fall in home ownership among young people.

The number of homeowning households in Yorkshire aged between 16 and 29 has fallen by 7,500 since 2010 while the number among people aged over 65 has risen by 32,000.

Mr Healey said “Today Labour must once more give young people on middle incomes the chance to own a home where the Tories have so badly failed.”

He was speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference looking ahead to the outcome of a housing review he launched last year.

The review is being led by Pete Redfern, the chief executive of housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.

The Government is committed to building 200,000 new homes by 2020.