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Jeremy Corbyn pledges to stop ‘social cleansing’ in regeneration schemes after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Labour leader vows redevelopments 'will be for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators'

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Wednesday 27 September 2017 14:00 BST
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Jeremy Corbyn points to Grenfell fire as epitome of failed housing policy

Labour would hand tenants a veto on redevelopment schemes that threaten “social cleansing” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Jeremy Corbyn pledged.

The Labour leader unveiled a package of housing policies as he condemned the deaths in the London blaze as a symbol of a “failed and broken system”.

Mr Corbyn said a Labour government led by him would:

* Ensure that “every home is fit for human habitation”.

* Introduce rent controls – to help young people burdened by housing costs “three times more than those of their grandparents”.

* Tax undeveloped land held by developers with the power to compulsorily purchase, to ensure they “use it or lose it”.

* Ensure redevelopments are “for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators”, with compulsory ballots before schemes go ahead.

Warning “tenants are not being listened to”, Mr Corbyn said: “After Grenfell we must think again about what are called regeneration schemes.

“Too often what it really means is forced gentrification and social cleansing, as private developers move in and tenants and leaseholders are moved out.”

He vowed that “regeneration under a Labour government will be for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators”.

And he added: “First, people who live on an estate that’s redeveloped must get a home on the same site and the same terms as before.

“No social cleansing, no jacking up rents, no exorbitant ground rents.

“And, second, councils will have to win a ballot of existing tenants and leaseholders before any redevelopment scheme can take place.

“Real regeneration, yes - but for the many not the few.”

On Grenfell, the Labour leader condemned the tragedy as a “tragic monument” to a system that “has contempt for working class communities”.

He said: “Grenfell is not just the result of bad political decisions. It stands for a failed and broken system which Labour must and will replace.”

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