Monday, 18 January 2016

Labour's amendment on the Housing Bill

I have been contacted by a number of people in relation to my decision to vote against a Labour amendment regarding rented accommodation.

Firstly, it goes without saying that everyone should be able to expect to live in a home that is safe and fit for purpose. But I strongly believe that the only thing the proposed amendment would have achieved is to hinder further investment in such properties and push up rents for tenants, which would have proved totally counter-productive.

It is also worth noting that local authorities, such as Cornwall Council, already have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality accommodation and the Government have made it clear they expect them to use them.

Additionally, it has already been confirmed that the Government will carry out research to see what, if any, legislative changes and amendments for such requirements in the private rented sector should be introduced.

I think it is important to tackle an issue like this at its roots, which is why the recently announced package of measures to either radically transform or knock down some 100 housing estates across the country, replacing them with high-quality homes, is so important. On top of this, the Government have already pledged to build 1 million homes by 2020 and made funds available to take action against rogue landlords.

Far from wanting to keep people in homes that are not fit for purpose, I genuinely believe by taking this action, we can tackle the country’s housing problems, something I am very keen to see happen.