Labour criticises public land plans
The shadow housing minister has questioned whether government plans to release public land for house building will address the shortage of affordable homes.
Housing minister Grant Shapps is due to announce today that all government departments with significant landbanks will publish plans to make land available for house builders. The initiative is expected to deliver 100,000 homes, and create 25,000 jobs.
But Labour’s Alison Seabeck said the proposals are unclear.
‘There will be questions about where this land will be, and whether it will be in areas where people want to live or where there is a need for new housing. And less than a year after the government cut funding for new affordable housing by 60 per cent, it is unclear whether these homes will be affordable to young working families who want somewhere of their own to live,’ she said.
‘When Labour brought forward a plan to use public land for house building it was explicitly for affordable, sustainable homes. There is also no indication that this Tory plan involves any element of low cost home ownership and the Home and Communities Agency has already made clear that the government will not support any new developments for social rented homes.’
The Home Builders Federation welcomed the move, but said more action is needed to address the shortage of housing.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: ‘It is vital to recognise that the success of this very positive initiative and building more housing generally also depends on the creation of a truly pro-growth planning system.
‘Increasing housing supply will tackle our housing crisis and create thousands of jobs, providing huge social and economic benefits across the country.’