Source: Labour List UK
The Labour Campaign for Council Housing has called for the new Labour leadership to commit to the 2019 manifesto pledge to build 100,000 council homes per year, and to fund this through a £10bn annual grant.
In a letter to Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire, the group told the new leadership team that the coronavirus crisis “would undoubtedly make the housing crisis worse”.
The campaign also asked the new leader and his team to go further than the December policy platform and campaign for the cancellation of local councils’ housing revenue account (HRA) debt, £26bn, owed to the Public Work Loans Board.
Secretary of the campaign, Martin Wicks wrote: “Government has created a precedent by cancelling the £13.4bn NHS debt. £26bn is not much higher given the scale of government action.” He declared that this would give local government a £1.25bn boost in annual income.
Local authority housing is contained within the HRA, a ring-fenced budget. The local authority takes rent and service charge from its tenants to put into this pot, and can only spend the money on building and maintaining housing.