I believe everyone should be able to live in a safe, decent, and affordable home.
Sadly under the Tories’ watch, the housing crisis has only gotten worse. Not enough homes are being built and the crisis in the private rented sector has been exacerbated with many renters being priced out of the market.
Battersea is one of the youngest constituencies in the country and has a higher number of private renters than the national average. Sadly, renters have never been so exposed and desperately in need of action by the Government to establish a fairer, more secure, and more affordable private rented sector. In London, private rental prices rose at 6.2 per cent in the year to September.
The long overdue Renters Reform Bill had its second reading in Parliament. Sadly since the Government first announced to end Section 21 ‘no fault evictions’ in April 2019, 70,000 households have been evicted and threatened with homelessness. The failure to immediately remove Section 21 will mean 15,000 more South Londoners will face no-fault evictions as a result of a six-month delay. As I made clear in my speech in the House of Commons, the Bill doesn’t go far enough.
It will do nothing to address the cost of renting, includes no requirements that privately rented homes meet the Decent Homes Standard, and contains no provision to increase councils’ investigative and enforcement powers. Renters will only be protected from eviction for the first six months of a tenancy, rather than two years as called for by the Renters Reform Coalition which includes Shelter and Crisis, they are only entitled to receive two-months’ notice for eviction rather than four months, and landlords will only be banned from reletting out their property after evicting tenants under new grounds for three months rather than one year.
This Bill alone won’t solve the crisis in the private rental sector. The Government must also look at wholesale reform of the housing sector. Where the Tories have failed, Labour is delivering with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan securing £3.46billion to build the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need to buy and rent.
The Labour Party has committed to increasing the affordable housing supply, with a target of 1.5 million homes over five years which will enable many South Londoners to buy and rent. That’s the leadership on housing we need to see.