Reading Borough Labour council has been praised for its pioneering housing scheme in a new report showcasing the innovative work that Labour councils are doing on housing around the country.
Local Housing Innovations: The Best of Labour in Power profiles 20 Labour councils at the leading edge in cutting homelessness, building new homes for first time buyers, investing in super-energy efficient homes and delivering new council housing.
Reading Council is buying 500 existing (and potentially new) residential properties to rent over a five-year period, funding the investment through a cost-neutral model of subsidising sub-market rent with the provision of full market rent units.
The ground-breaking ‘Homes for Reading’ project has been picked as one of 20 stand-out schemes from across the country by Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey who edited the report.
This comes as new analysis by the House of Commons Library, reveals that Labour councils have out-built Tory councils by an average of 1000 new homes since 2010.
It shows that in Conservative-led local authority areas there were 1,679 new homes built on average between 2010 and 2016, while under Labour councils 2,577 were built on average – more than 50% more homes.
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey MP said:
“The approach of Reading Borough council shows that the Labour party in power can make a real difference.
“After seven years of Tory failure on housing, from falling home-ownership to rising homelessness, Britain has a housing crisis and needs many more good homes.
“And while Tory Ministers talk about getting Britain building but their own local councils are lagging behind.
He added that the report alongside the new analysis on council housebuilding figures showed that “Labour doesn’t just build more, we build better too. Labour councils across the country are pulling out all the stops to help people with the day-to-day housing pressures they face.”