It’s appalling that in an area as wealthy as Westminster we have over 4,000 people officially homeless. Just a handful of social rented homes become available each year. Part of the problem is the Tories’ 2016 Housing and Planning Act, which a Labour government will repeal.
The Act’s main focus was on boosting homeownership at the expense of affordable and social housing, which the majority of people on average incomes need. As a consequence, there were even fewer social and affordable homes, the housing crisis has worsened, and it has become more difficult for people on average incomes to find an affordable home to rent or buy. Read more here
But Westminster’s Tories have made things worse by letting developers of new housing, like the Hanover Square and Old War Office schemes, ignore the Council’s own planning policies that require on-site affordable homes.
As a member of Southwark’s Planning Committee I headed off developers’ attempts to play these tricks.
I’ll help our council team challenge the Tories and expose the toxic links between the Tory party and big developers and landowners.
I’ll campaign for a better deal for the tens of thousands of private tenants and leaseholders in the Cities – people Mark Field has badly let down.
I worked with Jeremy Corbyn on his 2014 Bill to regulate the private rented sector, and before that on Labour’s Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act, designed to free residents from the feudal nightmare of leasehold management.
Leasehold reform is unfinished business for Labour. We legislated in 1967 to allow leaseholders to buy their homes and in 2002 to establish commonhold as an alternative to leasehold. The next Labour Government will finish the job. We will right the injustices faced by leaseholders locked in unfair contracts and faced with rip-off costs and we will end the broken leasehold model for good. Read more here
Landlords and lenders have made commonhold a dead letter. If elected I’ll introduce a new Commonhold Bill that puts people before profits.