Labour outlines plans for New Homes Corporations to drive housebuilding in local areas

London housing

Labour has set out plans for new local housing quangos to help ensure 200,000 homes per year are built by 2020 should the party form the next government.

Speaking over the weekend at the Labour Party conference in Manchester, Labour leader Ed Miliband said the party, if elected to government next year, would put in a places plans to create New Homes Corporations (NHCs), which he said would be focused on driving forward housebuilding plans in local areas.

Miliband said the NHCs would be set up by local authorities, normally at devolved city and county region level , where councils choose to collaborate acros local authority boundaries.

He said NHCs would work closely with the private sector partners and housing associations commissioning a wider range of developers, including SMEs, to build out sites at pace.

Miliband said the plans was a key recommendation of Labour’s review of housing that is being undertaken by Sir Michael Lyons.

Labour said the Lyons Commission, further details of which are expected to be published at the conference this week, estimates that NHCs could increase and accelerate the delivery of up to 500, 000 homes.

Labour said NHCs would provide better strategic planning for homes and the infrastructure needed to deliver them and will take responsibility for areas prioritised for development, setting out the timetable over which that development will take place.

Labour also said NHCs would drive competition and diversity among house builders by seeking new private partners for investment rather than relying simply on the existing large firms.

With responsibility for master planning developments, they will have the powers to package up sites for building by housing associations and construction firms, Labour said.

Miliband said the policy was aimed at adopting the successful approach taken on the construction of the Olympic park, “where a specific site was identified and then developed on time and on budget”.