Labour’s shadow housing secretary and deputy leader Angela Rayner says her party will scrap Section 21 on its first day in office, if it wins the next General Election.
In an interview with the i online newspaper, Rayner has also said that Labour would be putting forward an amendment to the Renters’ Reform Bill to try to force the ban on S21 evictions to automatically become law “with no caveats.”
She also says her party would review the Right to Buy policy for council and social homes in England to make it “fair” to both council tenants and taxpayers, ban “feudal” leasehold home ownership, ensure existing budgets to build council and social housing were spent, and begin work on a series of new towns during the first term of a future Labour government.
She also reiterated that first time buyers would get ‘first dibs’ on new builds, courtesy of a mortgage guarantee scheme.
However she has ruled out rent controls, telling I: “The blunt tool of hard rent caps is not going to solve the problem. More supply is going to solve the problem. We see it all the time: if something is in short supply, the price goes up … I don’t want the good landlords to go out of the market.”
In the interview - which was published over the weekend but took place some days earlier - Rayner claims her team can implement policies because it has the support of their backbenchers. However, the I points out that the Gaze Ceasefire vote last week saw eight shadow ministers resign - including Mary Foy, Rayner’s own parliamentary private secretary.
In the lengthy piece about the interview, Rayner is quoted as saying of her housing brief: “If we get in, we know it ain’t gonna be a box of roses. It’s hard. It’s a challenge. But we’re up for it. Unless we start fixing these fundamentals, there is just going to be a spiral of decline … Everything’s broken, creaking at the edges.”
She says that before announcing substantial ‘new money’ for housing related policies, she wants to ensure existing budgets are fully and properly spent - a reference to Housing Secretary Michael Gove revealing £1.9 billion in unspent money from his department recently.
You can see the whole article here, although for some readers it may be behind a paywall.
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