10 Oct 2023

CIH responds to Keir Starmer speech at the Labour Party Conference

In a speech at the Labour Party Conference, Labour leader Keir Starmer today pledged to get Britain building again and save the dream of homeownership for younger people when he announced a transformational package of reforms to the planning system to build 1.5 million homes over the next Parliament.

The plan includes:

  • A housing recovery plan; a blitz of planning reform to quickly boost housebuilding to buy and rent and deliver the biggest boost to affordable housing in a generation, enhancing local voice on ‘how’ housing is built with communities confident plans will be delivered
  • The next generation of ‘new towns’; new communities with beautiful homes, green spaces, reliable transport links and bustling high streets
  • Unleashing Mayors; a package of devolution to Mayors, with stronger powers over planning and control over housing investment
  • ‘Planning passport’ for urban brownfield development; with a fast track approval and delivery of high-density housing on urban brownfield sites
  • First dibs for first time buyers; supporting younger people the first chance at homes in new housing developments with a government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme.

Responding to the speech, CIH chief executive Gavin Smart said:

“The housing crisis needs bold and ambitious action to address it, so we really welcome the announcements by Keir Starmer today to tackle it head on with a housing recovery plan which reflects many of the asks in our housing manifesto.

"An effective planning system, backed with the right resources, is key to ensuring we have the right homes in the right places that people can afford. A focus on devolution should help ensure targeted and community-centred investment, supported by a focus on brownfield development. A new towns programme should help address the huge deficit in truly affordable housing supply for this generation and the next, whilst supporting sustainable and holistic development.

"Everyone should have the right to a secure, decent and affordable home so it’s good to see a clear focus on renters as well as the next generation of homeowners, with a commitment to rental and leasehold reform as well as support for first time buyers.

"Housing should provide a foundation from which to build your life. It’s great to see it given the prominence it deserves in the announcements we’ve heard this week. We look forward to supporting on the detail.”


A strategy for housing 

At CIH, we have been urging all political parties to commit to a long-term plan for housing which recognises it as the foundation for creating healthy and sustainable communities.

We can do this with a focus on more homes and better homes. Our 10 point plan which we published at the end of September unpacks this further, with more detail set out in our full Strategy for housing

Following announcements and speeches at both the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences, we'll be continuing to talk to members and partners about how we can drive delivery of these asks. If you’d like to discuss further please get in touch with the policy team at policyandpractice@cih.org.