‘Council housing, council housing, council housing’ is new Labour mantra – Nandy

The shadow communities secretary told the Labour Party conference that housing was not a market but a ‘fundamental human right’.

26 September 2022

Labour will restore social housing as the second-biggest tenure in the UK and “council housing, council housing, council housing” will be the party’s new mantra, Lisa Nandy has said.

The shadow communities secretary used her conference speech in Liverpool to outline a series of housing policies aimed at boosting council housebuilding and homeownership.

Ms Nandy told delegates that housing was not a market but a “fundamental human right” and that if Labour was elected to government it would ensure that social housing overtook the private rented sector as the second-largest tenure.

Lisa Nandy
Shadow communities secretary Lisa Nandy said council housing was ‘not a dirty word’ (Peter Byrne/PA)

She also announced plans to reform the private rented sector with a new private renters’ charter and a new decent homes standard written into law.

She said: “Council housing is not a dirty word.

“So today, I can announce we will be the first government in a generation to restore social housing to the second-largest form of tenure.

“This will be our mantra: council housing, council housing, council housing. We are going to rebuild our social housing stock and bring homes back into the ownership of local councils and communities, with homeownership opened up to millions more.

“And for private renters, we will tilt the balance of power back to you through a powerful new renters’ charter and a new decent homes standard – written into law.”

She added: “Because security in your home, the right to make your home your own and most of all the right to live in a home fit for human habitation is non-negotiable.

“Because housing isn’t a market, it’s a fundamental human right.”

The Labour frontbencher also said the party would end fire and rehire, repeal the 2016 Trade Union Act and raise wages for the lowest paid in the first 100 days of being elected into government.

She said: “We believe that when people have a stake in the outcome, they work harder, they try longer, they think more creatively and they do more.

“The people of our country are our great untapped asset. Labour will tilt the balance of power back in their favour.”

Ms Nandy told delegates “this country’s problem isn’t militant workers, it’s a militant Government”.

She also mocked Prime Minister Liz Truss’s passionate speech about pork markets during the Conservative Party conference in 2014.

Referring to the tax-cutting budget unveiled by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last week, Ms Nandy said: “Handing £55,000 to millionaires while people can’t afford to pay their rent, feed their kids and heat their homes.

“More money for millionaires than the whole North of England.

“In the words of Liz Truss: That is a disgrace.”

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