Candidate Chris Vince backs Labour’s plan to solve housing crisis

News / Sun 8th Oct 2023 at 07:23am

ON FRIDAY at the Labour Party Conference Labour announced a detailed plan to tackle the housing crisis.

Chris Vince, Labour candidate for Harlow and the villages said ” A safe, secure, affordable home is the foundation of a good life and one that people are desperately waiting for. But over the last thirteen years, the Tories have taken a sledgehammer to that foundation and caused a housing emergency.

We know that a lack of truly affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing families in Harlow. As someone who previously worked for a homeless charity in our town I know how difficult it is for young people to get on to the housing ladder and how ever increasing private sector rents mean that people are spending more and more of their wages on housing, forcing many more to turn to food banks.

I am delighted that the next Labour government will make housing a priority, ensuring that everyone in our community has a safe, secure and affordable home. I know it’s something that people in Harlow desperately need and it’s one of my key priorities as your Labour candidate and will be as your MP.

Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Angela Rayner, who visited Harlow in February told the Labour Party conference
Labour will deliver the biggest boost to affordable housing for a generation.

The next Labour Government will deliver the biggest boost to affordable, social and council housing for a generation, and get those social homes built, brick by brick. We’ll start by rebuilding the dream of a safe, secure, affordable home that the Tories have taken a wrecking ball to over the last thirteen years.

Developers have been let off the hook and for too long allowed to wriggle out of their responsibilities to provide new social and affordable homes. Labour will robustly hold them to account to deliver on their obligations to deliver affordable housing.
Labour will:

Upskill local authorities on Section 106 negotiations through an expert, central Take Back Control Unit.

Increase transparency around the viability process for the development of new affordable and social housing by creating guidance on viability levels across different parts of the country and a model assessment form that developers and Councils can use when evaluating this.

Ensure developers can no longer wriggle out of their commitments to build more social and affordable homes, by only allowing developers to challenge cases where there are genuine barriers to delivering these new homes.

Enable officials to funnel funds to projects where there is higher demand, so funding for no-go projects can be freed up to create the housing people need.

Allow Homes England, Councils and housing associations to use a greater proportion of grant funds they receive to buy social and affordable homes from existing housing stock.

Work more collaboratively with local leaders – who know their areas best – to better target funds.

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22 Comments for Candidate Chris Vince backs Labour’s plan to solve housing crisis:

Dan Swords
2023-10-08 07:45:49

Disregard the Labour Party press release, can Chris Vince say in Harlow where he will build houses that isn’t already happening? This will see 11,000 new homes over the next 10 years and taking up all available housing land in Harlow. As well as the Garden Town 20k+. So where does he propose to build them? Or is it just a Labour Central Office press release

James Leppard
2023-10-08 08:52:00

Many on the left decry the Right to Buy, yet Starmer's policy explicitly will continue this very popular policy introduced by the Conservatives. The new so-called Labour Housing policy and Chris Vince's comments are vague, uncosted and devoid of detail. What they glaringly fail to address is the fact that the issue is not so much supply (no government of either party has succeeded in building a target 300,000 houses per year; rather the problem is demand. From 1973 to 1995 ( when Labour's Blair blew the doors of immigration off their hinges, the UK population increased by about 2.5 million. In the next 25 years it increased by over 11 million. Much of this is due to migration ( legal and illegal). Our current population is around 68 million and if these trends continue, our population is heading towards 85-87 million by 2050. This is completely unsustainable in terms of infrastructure, socially and environmentally, resulting in a huge loss of essential food producing farmland, increasing our dependence on food imports. Chris Vince and Labour completely fail to address this pending national disaster.

Tony Edwards
2023-10-08 09:01:50

Dan, your Conservative Government have had 13 years to sort out the Housing crisis. Instead they gave us the policies which led to the development of Terminus House, the growth in HMO’s, the “viability opt out” which makes it practically impossible to get private developers to include social and affordable housing in their proposed schemes, and the scandal of “no fault evictions” for private sector tenants. You speak of the new homes to be built in and around Harlow. The challenge is to ensure that these homes equitably meet housing needs. The Labour Party recognise that there needs to be a change in the legislative process. The current process simply isn’t working.

Luke Burton
2023-10-08 09:06:30

And why haven't you built the infrastructure that you correctly identified is required, Cllr Leppard? Despite the tax take increasing to no end.

Luke Burton
2023-10-08 09:08:20

You can tighten up immigration if you'd like (despite labour shortages) but that doesn't solve the existing infrastructure and housing problems. Even if you froze population numbers right now, there still wouldn't be enough services or housing to go around.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-10-08 09:28:06

No fan of Labour of course but Tony Edwards post most closely reflects the true situation with regard to the housing crisis in this country. Whilst it was of course Labours disastrous immigration policy which has led to millions of people coming to live in this country, the Tories have had 13 years to change these but still in just one year over 1,000,000 people have arrived on our shores. The private sector has never built this country out of a housing crisis. The Local Plans developed by every council across the country clearly set out what is needed in terms of affordable housing but time and time again these targets are not met by developers. As for your comment James about food production, how come your Party locally support the building on land adjacent to Katherines, much of which is presently occupied by commercial greenhouses? There needs to be a sea change in respect of immigration and housing policies otherwise the housing crisis will be with us for decades to come. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of Harlow Alliance.

Tony Edwards
2023-10-08 09:32:25

James, who has been in control of migration policy over the last 13 years which has resulted in the now “unsustainable levels of population growth” Answer the Conservative Party! Who are the people crying out for skilled immigrants? Answer Businesses! Which Government has failed to sufficiently invest in skills and training to meet the need of Businesses? Answer The Conservatives! These are problems for which your Government has to accept a large measure of responsibility!

Kim Oconnor
2023-10-08 09:37:04

Dan swords, and James Leppard, fail to mention infrastructure, and failing to mention the drop of affordable housing, since there party sighned up for this. The promise and the facts are two very different things. Your party sighned up for this mess, knowing the facts, knowing that all housing estates will be built first, facilities second.... if that's not a recipe for disaster I don't know what is... you lot have no foresight for the generations of this town. How do we know, because we were there at consultation.. you knew, you sighned up for it... so don't pretend other wise.... And as for labour on people needing homes, we'll you did no better when in here, how many council houses did you build, 20 odd .... your both as bad as one an other.. profit before needs... no foresight..

Kim Oconnor
2023-10-08 09:42:17

In this country we're we are so over populated now, your concern s, should be with the thousands of people waiting on homes. Building council houses, with no right to buy, for future generations..... Labour and conservatives, are only thinking of profit before the needs of people.

gary roberts
2023-10-08 10:58:23

Over many years I have attended hundreds of meetings that deal with council housing. Indeed we have person(s) who is/are part of the defend council housing group. They have done exceptional work in trying to stress the need for social housing in this country in general and Harlow in particular. But to improve the availability of council housing the right to buy should be abolished in England following in the footsteps of Scotland and Wales. However, it appears the Conservative and Labour parties will not do that in England. I ask why not with over five thousand people on the council housing list needing council housing. I have asked, over many years, politicians of all colours this question without response. I even heard a current Conservative councillor state people should only be allowed to buy council homes if they were born in them. I suspect that wasn't his message but if that happened it would automatically stop the council selling them off. Wont it? Yes.

James Leppard
2023-10-08 11:54:29

Kier Starmer has confirmed that Labour will not change the Right to Buy. Would be interesting to see their numbers for their plans. As to Kim O'Connor's comment, as Dan Swords said, all land in Harlow for social housing has already been designated as such. We have no space. That is a fact.

Alderman Durcan
2023-10-08 12:11:30

Could I suggest it might help if the local Tories actual built something instead of supporting private developer. For the last 2 years they have not out 2 bricks together to build anything. We have land ready so why the delay. Sadly as with PAH nothing more than headlines. Stop gas lighting and show us the new homes promised. It was the current leader who made the promises including a super world beating cycle track. We have a MP telling us he has delivered a new hospital. It was the same MP who told us he personally took the applause for the new school. No wonder no one trust politicians anymore.

gary roberts
2023-10-08 12:28:07

The spade in the ground is always used to say "we are doing it" even if no spade is actually in the ground. Cllr. Durcan is correct that all the supposed areas identified for council or social housing is still that: supposed. Most are still derelict or waste land without even a spade in sight or on site. I suspect more jam tomorrow housing projects that will still be that in a year if not more.

2023-10-08 12:54:54

Is this the proposal to reclassify greenbelt as brownbelt and shove 1000s of homes on it? Stop mass immigration, sort out housing for people who have been on the waiting lists for 10s of years

James Leppard
2023-10-08 13:41:02

Resident is of course right and Alderman Durcan is deliberately misleading people with his comments. He knows full well ( or at least I imagine he does) that all new builds require Planning permission. This has been done for a number of sites for new social housing, e.g. Staple Tye ( three sites, including his former Lister House debacle, Tye Green, Arkwrights, Sherards Hatch, etc and the timetable for the commencement of works has been publicly announced for works programmes to commence this Autumn. Are we to assume he does not read Council programmes? Let's ask Alderman Durcan the total of new build council homes were delivered during Labour's decade in administration, excluding the homes they rushed out to buy on the open market for about £12 m - about 3 x the actual build cost. I think the phrase is: "people in glasshouses....."

2023-10-08 15:37:04

Why is it that a discussion about housing also incorporates blaming immigration and therefore blaming immigrants? Immigrants are not to blame for the housing problems of this country. The Conservatives are. This "blame the immigrant" for housing problems goes back to at least 1895 when a Tory MP blaming Jewish immigrants for increased rents and poor housing conditions. And the same is being done today. I suppose that there are elements that are as gullible and xenophobic now as they were back then.

James Leppard
2023-10-08 15:53:00

Hugo, there is nothing xenophobic. It is a simple fact that the greatest impulse for population growth in recent years is inward migration. This is an indisputable fact, not only in the UK, but in many European countries. Anybody, irrespective of origin requires a roof over their head. Therefore, much of the pressure for housing is more a factor of demand than supply. Last year we had the large set influx of 606,000. That represents about 6.5 new Harlows! Yes, we need to import skilled and professional people, but I do tend to doubt that the majority of the 606,000 were in the category of: qualified mathematicians, physicists, surgeons, civil engineers, scientific researchers, elite sports persons, etc. We can implement an Australian points -based system to attract and incentivise those with the skills we need. If our population continues to grow at these rates our infrastructure and environment will be irreparably damaged.

Kim Oconnor
2023-10-08 19:16:50

Your last statement made me laugh James Leppard, our infrastructure and environment will be damaged. 😂 😂 . Your council care not for infrastructure or the environment, As your council never stood beside us when we needed you all the most, saving our river stort valley...7 new unaffordable housing estates, and a road going straight over said river... 7 unaffordable housing estates, that will be built first and foremost.. and when all theses are build with no facilities, your all cry and blame some one else, making out you didn't know.. You believe more in theses so called developers, then you do for your own town, , why,, because it makes your government and council more... putting profit before the needs of this town.And if labour get near the throne, it will be no different. Your both as bad as one an other...

2023-10-08 20:13:32

Here we go again the same old Labour v Conservative bickering, whilst not only Harlow residents but everyone up and down the country suffers, maybe it's time for a complete change and vote in people that actually care about what the public really want and not what a think tank at central office tells us what we need.

2023-10-08 22:22:58

Both parties guilty of irresponsible negligence in allowing neighbouring councils “dump “ their housing responsibilities on Harlow while being allowed to reap the revenue and “credit “ but non of the accountability. The bickering of Leppard, Halfon and Vince is sickening… these fools should be given the short thrift they deserve.. Harlow needs to stand up for itself.

Mark Gough
2023-10-09 23:53:45

The fact is that what we see here is a Labour Central Office press release produced for Chris to sign. Readers will notice not one single suggestion or policy that Labour would do differently. Sitting on the sidelines carping is easy, leading is not. Khan promised more housing in London and failed. Since 1997 we have 10 million more people in this Country and even senior academic Matt Godwin said at Reform UK Conference on Saturday that 90% of people what Immigration Control. The more people we have the more we need to build infrastructure. The last Labour Government promised Council Housing and did just about nothing! Right to Buy money (only about 10-15 properties in Harlow per annum) should be used to replace that sold. We're creating larger NHS waiting lists, a shortage of school places especially in special needs, busier transport links and of course large bills for interpretators for those with English as a second language. We don't want concrete all over our green built, it's one of the great things that makes us British. So Chris, after your last Government, and Prescott and his "the Green Built was a Labour Achievement, and we're going to build on it," what genius you proposing this time? How about up to date Affordable Modular Housing that people can actually buy? Oh that's a UKIP/Reform UK idea that actually has been supported of the Institute of Surveyors as an actual solution to the Housing Issue!

2023-10-10 20:15:19

Mark Gough, would that be using modular builder cowboys this government engaged to build the SFG school? Sorry, my friend this government is just as incompetent and clueless, quite pointless to defend the indefensible.. time for change…

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