Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Joe Beswick, Housing Lead at the New Economics Foundation, said:

This speech was trailed as the start of a new council housebuilding revolution. Instead, the Prime Minister flattered to deceive. All we got was a bit of extra cash for existing programmes which are failing to deliver the housing people need.

If the Prime Minister were serious about addressing the housing crisis, she would be giving real power to local authorities and housing associations so they can work with communities to build the homes they need. That means lifting the borrowing cap on building, and allowing councils to retain right-to-buy receipts to build homes. Otherwise we are stuck in the same broken model where the homes built are unaffordable to most.”

The lack of joined-up thinking on housing is stark. While the Prime Minister promises to fix our broken housing market, her government is committed to selling the very public land which would make this possible. That has to change. The public land sale must be brought to a halt, and surplus public land used for affordable homes. Public land must be used for the public good.

The expansion of Help to Buy will only inflate house prices, and will mainly benefit those who already relatively well off. [2] And £2.3billion is still allocated to build Starter Homes, which are not accessible to those on low, or even middle, incomes. This is not how to address the crisis.

The shift in direction that we need must be driven from the bottom up, not the top down. The tragedy at Grenfell showed what happens when tenants’ and communities’ voices are ignored. We have to ensure that communities are put at the heart of decision-making over what gets built, and where.”

-ENDS -

** Spokespeople available for interview **

Notes to editor:

1. The New Economics Foundation is the UK’s only people-powered think tank. The Foundation works to build a new economy where people really take control. newe​co​nom​ics​.org

2. See http://​newe​co​nom​ics​.org/​2​0​1​7​/​1​0​/​f​o​u​r​-​r​e​a​s​o​n​s​-​h​e​l​p​-​b​u​y​-​s​c​r​a​p​p​e​d​-​n​o​t​-​e​x​t​e​nded/