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Housing and Planning Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:49 pm on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee 6:49 pm, 2nd November 2015

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Why should we accept sloppy building when it comes to a house? Given that we would take a sloppily made mobile phone back to the shop and expect a full refund, the same needs to be applied to housing.

I plan to table an amendment on the important point of addressing the status of building control performance standards. Those guidelines are currently regarded as best practice, and I believe that they need to be taken forward in a much more formalised manner.

The final point I want to make—I want to allow other hon. Members to contribute to this important debate—is on the issue of right to buy in relation to almshouses. I welcome the measure to extend the right to buy. As I have said, 13,000 of my constituents could benefit from this important measure. Many of them supported the measure at the general election, which is why it was important that it was central to our manifesto. However, some concern has been expressed to me by providers of almshouses about the possibility that the measures in the Bill may inadvertently draw them into a situation in which their residents acquire a right to buy in a way that is incompatible with the charitable status of almshouses.