For far too long Westminster Council has not built enough social or lower rent housing to respond to the huge need in our city, and all too often the ‘affordable’ housing that has been built is still too expensive for ordinary families.
Labour is pledging, if elected on May 3rd 2018, to build many more council and lower rent homes than Westminster Tories have ever done. Labour will go significantly further than the Council’s plans for building ‘affordable’ housing while ensuring any affordable homes on council land are either social homes or Westminster Key Worker Homes for those on average incomes or less.
Labour pledge that any building programme on council land will not only fully replace any council homes demolished but ensure that at least 50% of any additional homes built will be at council and Westminster Key Worker rents.
Westminster Labour will ensure that any significant council regeneration scheme is subject to a residents’ ballot – after a meaningful, resident-led consultation with local people. Demolition should no longer be the first option for such plans, and where any local resident is displaced they must be able to be rehoused in the local area with the same type of tenancy and have the right to return if they want to.
Under a Labour Council estate regeneration and local infill schemes would have a strong local lettings policy so that the people impacted by change can be the first to benefit from it.
We will scrap the Conservatives’ proposed planning rule changes (that would reduce the proportion of total new affordable housing that is social to 40%), ensuring that at least 60% of all new affordable housing is council housing.
Any homes for sale built in the regeneration areas and other council owned land must be marketed first to local people, rather than sold off-plan to international investors.
To find new ways to build social and lower rent housing, if elected, Labour will set up a top-level Westminster Housing Commission chaired by leading housing expert Steve Hilditch. The Housing Commission would bring together senior figures from the world of housing, planning and homelessness, working with local residents to lead a root and branch review of the housing crisis in Westminster.