Last week, it was announced by Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey MP that he was willing to offer support to the 11.5 million people who rent from private landlords. This was part of his speech at the Labour Party Conference, in Liverpool.
Specifically, this promise included creating more power for tenants, with the creation of a £20m fund, in order to aid the expansion of renters’ unions. Healey described how tenants have had to accept a rise of over £1,800 a year in rent prices, since 2010. He also went on to point out that the end of a tenancy in a private rented home is the biggest single cause of homelessness in the UK.
Healey began his speech by saying: “The next Labour Government will be the most radical Government on housing since that great post-war Labour Government.”
In Labour’s analysis, it shows that there are 1.3 million sub-standard private rented homes in England, occupied by 490,000 families with children.
He also commented: “Tenants who rent from private landlords have been hit hard by the housing crisis. Labour’s commitment is clear: we’ll give renters new rights to control rental costs, improve conditions and increase security.
“Renters’ unions help put power in the hands of tenants. And the next Labour government will fund set-up costs for these unions across the country to support renters to defend their rights, and make the housing market fairer.”
Healey has also made the promise to put an end to rough sleeping. He wants to build more social housing, as well as ensure that there are affordable rental homes, with rents set at a third of the average local income.
If Labour are successful at the next general election, there will be plans to scrap Section 21 no-fault evictions. They also want to undo cuts to legal aid for housing related cases, as well as introduce the option for three-year tenancies.