Labour party members seek end of affordable rent
The Labour Party should abandon the coalition’s flagship ‘affordable rent’ policy if it regains power in 2015, according to the party’s grassroots members.
Party members will vote on a motion later this week that will call on the party to drop the scheme, which encourages social landlords to charge rents at 80 per cent of the market rate.
Scores of local Labour groups - known as constituency Labour Parties - submitted motions on housing at this year’s party conference in Manchester. After hours of negotiation last night they have produced a motion that they all agree with and that will now be put to a vote of all conference delegates later this week.
The motion states that delegates oppose ‘the government’s assault on affordable housing, with massive cuts to government funding, a doubling of rent in many areas through the so called “affordable rent model”, restrictions on security of tenure and the fire sale of social assets on the cheap through the extension of right to buy’.
It states specifically that a future Labour government should ‘reverse the coalition’s policy of linking new social rents to 80 per cent market levels’.
If - as is likely - delegates back the motion it will not commit any Labour government to dropping affordable rent. But it would send out a very clear signal that if it continued with the policy it would do so against the wishes of rank and file members.
The detailed motion, which runs to three pages, also states that ‘letting developers drop section 106 agreements that provide affordable social housing and community infrastructure is wrong’.