***RESULTS OF THE BALLOT***
TOP POLICY – ‘A RENT REGULATION ACT’ – Dr Eoin Clarke
No.2 POLICY – ‘SECURITY OF TENURE’ – Romin Sutherland
No. 3 POLICY – ‘PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR – HIGHER STANDARDS OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY/REPAIR; RENT CONTROL’ – Jeremy Corbyn MP
JOINT No.4 POLICY – ‘WIDEN ACCESS? MAKE STUDENT ACCOMMODATION MORE AFFORDABLE’ – Ryan Wain
& ‘GET SERIOUS ABOUT HOUSING’ – Steve Hart
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPEAKERS AND THE AUDIENCE FOR A GREAT NIGHT OF DEBATE AND IDEAS.
90 second policy ideas, quick-fire questions and debate on the future of
Chaired by Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Housing Minister
- 90 SECONDS PER SPEAKER TO PRESENT A POLICY IDEA (up to 20 speakers)
- 3 MINUTES Q&A PER POLICY
- ONE VOTE – ONE TOP POLICY ON HOUSING
WHEN? 6.30pm-8.30pm, WEDNESDAY 23 MAY
WHERE? THE BARLEY MOW (pub), 104 Horseferry Road, Westminster, London, SW1P 2EE ***In upstairs function room***
5-10 Mins walking distance from Parliament
FREE ENTRY – LABOUR MEMBERS/SUPPORTERS WELCOME
SPEAKERS: Introduction from PragRad Chair, John Slinger and Shadow Housing Minister, Jack Dromey MP.
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS AND THEIR POLICY IDEAS:
1. Cllr Karen Alcock – Deputy Mayor and lead member for Housing in LB Hackney
Moving beyond rent or buy: The current intermediate housing market is not working. For many it is unaffordable, particularly for those low and middle income families who cannot access social housing, We need to develop a widely understood, sustainable intermediate tenure. Including a review of who these homes are for as well as what are the right levels of affordability. Government should commit to developing a long term building programme for this tenure.
2. Cllr Theo Blackwell
Private rent stabilisation
3. Maria Brenton – project manager for OWCH (Older Women’s Cohousing) Group, London
Senior cohousing – setting up supportive, self-governing communities: Self-help and mutual support among people of 50+ offer one answer to the current crises of housing and social care as well as societal ageing. The senior cohousing community offers an entirely new, self-governing, mixed tenure model for the UK, enabling down-sizing and drawing on un-mortgaged equity. Local authorities need policy direction on this from central government.
4. Emma Burnell – author of the Scarlet Standard blog and National Policy Forum representative for the Socialist Societies
A windfall bank tax for social housing: In addition to Ed Ball’s plan to tax banker’s bonuses (which are separate from bank profits) I propose a bank profit windfall tax to raise £7 billion – enough to build 100,000 homes at social rent.
5. Stephen Bush – Progress Columnist and Journalist
Create a Ministry for Housing and Construction: There is a reason why, in times of retrenchment, housing expansion and long-term state construction projects are shelved: they lack a heavyweight political champion at the Cabinet table. We’ve seen the difference that a Department for Climate Change can have. Let’s do the same for housing.
6. Dr Eoin Clarke – grass-roots member of Labour Left think tank
A Rent Regulation Act: Private lettings rental prices are to be subject to a “Housing Officer Valuation” in order to determine a fair rent in line with the market rates & condition of the property, after which landlords are to be prevented levying above inflation yearly increases in private rents upon their tenants.
7. Jeremy Corbyn MP
Need for a policy on the private rented sector which includes greater security of tenure, higher standards of energy efficiency, higher standards of repair, and registration and control of rent levels. Behind this of course is the issue of the housing benefit cap which has resulted in many tenants in London being threatened with losing their private rented flats (1300 in Islington alone).
8. Stephen Cowan – Labour Leader of the Opposition, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
The Right to Sell: Labour must announce policies that demonstrate how will help people to achieve their home ownership aspirations if it is to connect with key groups of voters and win the next election. One policy could be to give all tenants a right own an accruing share in their homes up to a percentage set by the landlord. There are several ways of organising and financing this such as mutualised housing, housing bonds linked to rents, community land trust or even using government funds to encourage people not to under-occupy. All require treating a proportion of a tenant’s rent as buying an accruing share. These shares are can be cashed in at any point that the resident wishes to sell and move out. However, they have to sell the share back to the landlord so the home is kept in the social housing supply. The policy would require a return to secure tenure and an end to right-to-buy. It will encourage social mobility, geographical mobility and help to tackle under-occupation.
9. Brian Green – Brickonomics
QE Housing: Channel £50bn (more perhaps) of QE (Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility) into a non-governmental public interest company that develops homes and new towns then unwind the QE by selling them later into private/public/social ownership. Treasury most likely will end up in surplus on the deal through increased employment tax and reduced benefit payment, we’d have about 500,000 or so new homes, we’d create almost 1 million job years and the economy would get a huge boost.
10. Cllr Mike Harris – Labour Councillor for Lewisham
To solve our housing crisis, we need to tackle the subsidies first: Many on the left want to deal with our housing crisis with additional funding, but first we need to recognise the many ways the price of housing is inflated by hidden subsidies that more often than not benefit the richest.
11. Steve Hart – Unite Political Director
Get serious about housing: Restore the right of every citizen to decent affordable housing to the highest policy priority – just as Beveridge did in 1942. Accept that the market has failed and that it is the responsibility of government to deliver on that right. Build 500,000 housing units per year including 150,000 which are rent controlled, and restore rent controls – as part of a growth strategy for the economy – if these policies are good enough for François Hollande who pledged this in his manifesto and won, why not for Britain?
12. Cllr Simon Hogg – Wandsworth Labour Councillor
Pension and sovereign wealth funds to finance 50,000 homes a year: Central government, banks and individuals are too indebted to invest in new housing; institutions such as pension funds must be convinced to lend their huge financial power to affordable housebuilding.
13. Grahame Morris MP
Letting the genie out the bottle – a new model to build affordable homes to buy or part rent
Housing for the 99%: My first policy reintroduces rent controls and abolishes the housing benefit caps. Labour will have to eat humble pie if it abolishes the local housing allowance it invented. My second is some form of land taxation which will bring land banks and empty housing into use; a land value tax could replace the regressive council tax. I add some thoughts about the strategic direction of future Labour Party housing policy.
15. Vincenzo Rampulla – member of the Young Fabians Executive; works for a county local authority; previously worked for a housing organisation in the private rented sector
Premium Bond Housing: There are between 750,000 to one million private landlords in the UK, investing their own money in other people’s housing based on the idea that bricks and mortar is a safer investment than stocks and shares. Britain could take that investor mentality and open it up to wider savers in Britain to kick start housing investment. People currently invest £98 billion in premium bond-style products, an amount that has been growing since 2006-7. With the average Britain having around £17k in short and long term savings and investments there is a strong opportunity to deliver a strong investment product, which would allow investment in housing and open up a savings culture in British homes.
16. Amanda Ramsay – Columnist Labour Uncut, former Cabinet Member and London Councillor
Fairer housing policy for tax payers and tenants alike: With buying a home ever harder and social housing in ever shorter supply, private rents are soaring yet help from housing benefit has been capped, rent controls are urgently needed in city areas, as in NewYork City, to limit the price a landlord can charge a tenant for rent and regulate the services the landlord must provide. Failure to provide these may allow the tenant to demand a lower rent.
17. John Slinger – Chair, Pragmatic Radicalism
Consider building on the Green Belt for those with tightened belts: A shortfall of 750,000 homes by 2025 (IPPR) means building on the Green Belt must be considered in addition to brownfield sites. 250,000 homes could be built in 25 new towns, primarily for working families, housing 1 million people, which would require building on only 0.0013 per cent of the current green belt (itself only 13 per cent of UK land mass). Naysayers need only look at Rawabi City, the first new city in the Palestinian Territories, currently under construction, to see how it can be done, even under difficult circumstances (see my Huffington Post UK article http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/john-slinger/planning-reform-look-to-w_b_1393925.html)
18. Ryan Wain – Education Ambassador, West India Committee
Widen access? Make student accommodation more affordable: Our government should look to increase the number of affordable accommodation available to students. Private accommodation and halls of residences, especially in inner city areas, are increasingly unaffordable and – even more so than inflated tuition fees – present the biggest threat to social mobility. Student housing is generally cheaper to build than other housing, it can be multi-purpose in use and funding could come from excess fee income generated by Universities.
To have the chance to present your 90 second policy idea on the on the night, please send your idea in the following format:
– Explanation (1-2 sentences)
– How you wish to be referred to on the night (ie job title, organisation, etc)
Send to PragRad Chair, John Slinger email@example.com, or use the comment form below. @PragRad @JohnSlinger
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