Angela Rayner promises to deliver on social housing at Labour Party Conference in Liverpool

Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner has pledged to administer “the biggest boost in affordable and social housing for a generation” in her speech on Sunday at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, declared that affordable homes are crucial to the foundation of a good life, but that private rental properties are unaffordable for too many.

She said: “While leaseholders linger in a system left over from the Middle Ages, the dream of homeownership is slipping away as more than a million families wait for social housing.”

Rayner – born and raised in Stockport – blamed the Tories for selling or demolishing over double the number of social homes they have built in their 13 years of governance.

Her determination to solve the issue was apparent, even jokingly stating, “I’ll get my hard hat and hi-vis on if I have to.”

The proposals suggested in the speech to tackle the shortage of housing included reforming the planning system, to prevent developers from “wriggling out” of their responsibilities.

Labour’s Deputy Leader said: “Elected local leaders will be given the powers they need to stand up to vested interests in building new developments, through a specialist government take back control unit that will work with them to rebalance the scales.”

The proposed changes would also see Labour ban ‘no fault’ evictions. The current housing legislation includes Section 21, which allow landlords to evict tenants without reason with just two months notice. Rayner has promised to repeal these clauses if Labour are elected to government.

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne also touched on Labour’s New Deal for Working People in her speech. These plans would see a ban on zero hours contracts, an end to fire and rehire and stronger union powers, amongst other policies.

She said this legislation would be carried out within the first 100 days of a Labour government.

The end of the speech reflected on her own political journey, which she credits to the Labour Party.

Rayner said: “It was the Labour government (that) took me from a council estate to the Parliamentary Estate… So I say to anyone who feels written off and looked down on. I’ve got your back. Labour is on your side.”

The Labour Party Conference continues this week and the leadership will be hoping to use it to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives on key political issues, presenting themselves as a government-in-waiting.

Featured image by Jamie Street 

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