Haringey Liberal Democrats have made a £148 million housing pledge as campaigning for the May local elections begins.

If elected, the party promises to build both council and affordable homes in its flagship policy.

The Liberal Democrats propose to create a council owned housing company to invest £148 million into new homes.

Any profits from the council-owned company would be used to improve existing housing and build more new homes, say the party.

Furthermore, the Liberal Democrats in Haringey claim that no public assets would be handed over to third parties, while vowing to give Haringey residents housing priority and not the highest bidder.

The current Labour-led council’s controversial HDV project would end, as would its plan to build a new £33 million council headquarters.

Cllr Liz Morris, Haringey Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, said: “We’re excited to announce our plan to invest an identified £148 million in building new council and affordable housing.

“The Labour-run council believes the only way to deliver housing in Haringey is to enter into a risky and controversial joint venture with a private developer.

“Our plan would deliver desperately needed Council-owned homes compared to Labour’s HDV plan that would rip the heart out of local communities, fail to protect current residents and prioritises private gain over local housing need.

“We want better housing for local people with businesses supported to flourish.

“We will do this with development taking place at a local level, keeping it 100 per cent council-owned, and taking the community with us.

“We believe it’s time to build more council housing as well as homes that are truly affordable.”

Liberal Democrat-run Sutton Council has trialled the model, as have other Liberal Democrat-run councils in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats report that the Smith Institute discovered that Local Housing Companies “offer Councils a ‘triple dividend’ in the form of much needed extra housing, a greater stewardship role in place-shaping and a financial return to the council.”

The £148 million would be made up of £62 million from the Greater London Authority under the local housing zone scheme, £30 million headroom from Haringey Council’s Housing Revenue account, £22.8 million from right-to-buy receipts from the sale of council homes, and £33 million from scrapping Labour’s plans to build a new council office.