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Corbyn opens with housing at debut PM Questions

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Jeremy Corbyn, the newly-installed leader of the opposition, today opened his first Prime Minister’s Questions on the topic of housing

Before his debut debate, Corbyn said he had crowd-sourced questions from members of the public, telling Parliament he had received 40,000 responses of which 2,500 related to the housing crisis.

Corbyn devoted his first two questions in the House of Commons to that issue.

He said: ‘There is one [question] from Marie – who says “What does the government intend to do about the chronic lack of affordable housing and the extortionate rents charged by some private sector landlords in this country?”’

Welcoming Corbyn to his new role, prime minister David Cameron said that the government had delivered 360,000 affordable homes in the last parliament and more council housing than under the Labour government.

He said the Conservative administration would continue to reform the planning system and encourage the building industry to come up with more ideas like Starter Homes.

‘But I would say that we won’t get Britain building unless we keep our economy going,’ he said.

For his second question, Corbyn criticised the government for cutting council and housing association rents, citing the concerns of a ‘Stephen’ who was worried this would lead to reduced maintenance on homes.

For his remaining questions, the new Labour leader focused on cuts to tax credits and mental health issues.

During his leadership campaign, Corbyn produced a nine-page manifesto proposing ‘a radical rebooting of home construction’, giving councils to build more homes.

However, the 3,370-word document did not mention design or architecture once. 

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