One hundred years ago, 80 per cent of the British rented their homes, almost all from private landlords.
Standards were poor until the 1919 Housing Act provided subsidies for local authorities to build the first real council houses.
Housebuilding peaked at 350,000 a year in the 1930s, but soon levelled off around the 200,000 mark. The 1970s were characterised by political turmoil, and a boom-and-bust economy: both Labour and Conservative government’s neglected housing. Something had to be done and, coming as much from the need to invest in housing as political philosophy, the large flow of private investment coming from the new owners of former council houses increased the overall quality of housing across the UK. From the 1980s until recent years, again under both Labour and Conservative governments, around 140,000 houses a year were built. With an increase of several million in the UK population during the first years of the 21 st century, a shortage followed naturally. The consensus now is that a return to average housebuilding of around 200,000 a year should return stability to the market.
The Conservatives nationally are determined to build the homes that people want to live in, and in the recent Budget the Chancellor showed this commitment by launching a five-year, £44 billon, housing programme designed to deliver the biggest increase in housing supply since the 1970s.
Local Conservatives also have an excellent track record on housing: holding both the Greens and Labour to account for their woeful neglect of housing over the last few years.
We know that building the homes that local people want to live in will be the main driver that enables Brighton and Hove to be a city of expanding opportunities for everybody. Following the local election in May, Conservatives will begin listening to residents and then building housing that is fit for purpose.
This level of housebuilding will not be provided by the Labour Party, but by local Conservatives, working with a determined Conservative Government.
Only the Conservatives can solve our local housing crisis.
Cllr Tony Janio is the leader of the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council