National politics

The housing crisis crept up on us under Labour but don’t expect it to own up

Today both the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, and my MP Rupa Huq have been talking about housing affordability. Corbyn called in aid an email from a “Matthew” at PMQs at lunchtime. Huq, who remains unembarrassed about nominating Corbyn, has been talking to the Gazette.

Both gloss over Labour’s appalling record on housing. Housing affordability halved under Labour in the period 1998 to 2007 and has stayed about the same since according to the published stats (DCLG Live Table 577). They have probably got a little worse since and then got better more recently.

Ratio median house prices to median earnings

One of the drivers for this was Labour’s awful record on social housing. As I have pointed out many times before the worst ten years in our country since the Second World War for social housebuilding were 1998 to 2007. It is no coincidence.

Social housing completions 19-2-2015

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