Rachel Blake Labour and Co-operative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster 1st November 2023 Blog London Communities, Housing & Local Government Housing Share Tweet Photo by Martin Sepion on Unsplash It’s hard to underestimate how serious the situation is when talking about our housing market. A frequent experience across the UK including my constituency of Cities of London and Westminster is one of insecure and poor quality housing, soaring rents, leaseholders being exploited, and people priced out of home ownership. It’s clear we’re experiencing a crisis in our housing market, the severity of which requires emergency action. However, the Tories in Westminster appear completely uninterested in tackling the issue – failing to build the affordable houses required and provide access to good quality homes for everyone to enjoy. There’s also a lingering feeling that owning your own home has become a luxury available only to those with the widest pockets, rather than something everyone can aspire to and secure. Without urgent reform, more and more people will be priced out of the communities they grew up in and ermanently denied home-ownership. To overcome this, we must offer something bolder and bigger than we’ve ever seen before. For me and for many in the co-operative movement, the values and principle of co-operation can deliver the change we need to see. Community-led initiatives, where people have a real say and stake, can provide a low-cost option for those wishing to either own or rent. A more democratic model, with co-operative and community-led housing at its heart, can not only deliver higher quality homes but also build better community engagement and deliver lower costs. But our ambitions for the housing section mustn’t end there. Millions are stuck in limbo in a feudal style of homeownership in the form of leasehold that the Government should be addressing as a matter of urgency. We must continue to hold Ministers their promises and end the leasehold scandal and give everyone a real say over the places they call home. And we can go further still. It’s time to accelerate house building like never before so we can provide stable, secure, affordable and decent housing for generations to come. However, taking the Tories’ previous record into account, all this won’t happen under the current government. Only a Labour and Co-operative government can deliver the reform and housing building our country needs. Like Sir Keir Starmer set out in his speech to the Labour Party’s Annual Conference, a government under his leadership will aim to build 1.5 million new homes over five years. Paired with reform to the market, we can make the dream of owning your own home a reality again and ensure everyone has access to a safe and secure place to live.