Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey MP, visited Lincoln yesterday, Wednesday, to see how the Labour Council is working to address the current housing crisis.
With home ownership down sharply, rising numbers of rough sleepers, soaring private rents, spending on housing benefit increasing, and fewer new homes being built under any peacetime government - Labour controlled Lincoln City Council is one of a number of Labour councils across the country that are leading the way in helping to tackle the housing crisis.
In Lincoln the city council has approved plans which will see an additional 500 new homes being made available – 250 new council homes, 150 new homes in conjunction with housing associations and 100 – 150 new affordable homes to buy or rent through a council owned company.
During the visit John met with Labour councillors from the city council to see the plans for the new house building project, visit one of the sites and chat to nearby residents whilst campaigning ahead of this May’s local elections.
Speaking following the visit John Healey said that tackling the country’s housing crisis is a priority for Labour:
“It's impressive to see such big plans from a relatively small council. Lincoln council's three-part programme to build new houses to rent and buy for local people is a model for others. I've been able to see first-hand both plans and sites, as well as visiting new homes the council has recently completed. These are the first of many more, as long as Lincoln has a Labour council.
“Lincoln council know the cost of housing crisis many residents face, and are determined to help by building new affordable homes despite deep funding cuts from central government.
“We need more good homes of all types to fix the country’s housing crisis and, across the country, 40 per cent more homes are being built with Labour councils like Lincoln than Conservative councils.
“Sadly, while many councils are working hard to deal with local housing problems, the Government’s national housing plans will result in the loss of thousands of affordable homes to rent and buy across the country. Shelter put the figure at 180 000 over five years. For now, the best hope people have for help with housing pressures is a Labour council."