£180 million council house building boost planned

Author: By David Hughes, Press Association

Housing Minister John Healey also revealed new measures to support families
faced with the threat of repossession.

He used his speech to the Labour Party conference to accuse the Tories of
secretly plotting to double or treble the rents paid by council and housing
association tenants.

Mr Healey said more council homes were being built now than at any time in
nearly two decades but more needed to be done.

“I am launching a second round of funding for councils that are ready to help
build the new affordable rented homes we need in this country.

“I’m inviting bids by the end of next month.

“And before Christmas I aim to give the go ahead to a £180 million programme
to build an extra 1,200 council homes.”

Mr Healey said a duty would be placed on councils, developers and housing
associations to use apprentices and local workers on projects funded by the

This would result in an extra 3,000 apprenticeships, he told party supporters
in Brighton.

Mr Healey also announced an extra duty to be placed on lenders before they
could repossess a property.

He said: “We are tightening the rules on lenders to help those facing

“From this week lenders will have to tell local councils when they start
repossession action, so the councils can then offer advice or practical

Turning to the Tories, Mr Healey said he had evidence obtained under the
Freedom of Information Act about the conclusions of Conservative council
leaders and two London deputy mayors.

“Secret plans for eight million people in council or housing association homes.

“Secret plans that would double or treble the rents, secret plans that would
cut their security in their home to a two-month notice period.

“If I’m wrong, David Cameron can say so, but he won’t.

“I challenged him two months ago, and again two weeks ago.

“I’m now publishing my letters, and I challenge him again today to come clean.

“He owes council or housing association tenants across the country the truth
about the Tories’ plans.”

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