Housing

Part of Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 15th December 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Teresa Pearce Teresa Pearce Shadow Minister (Housing) 6:45 pm, 15th December 2015

I am afraid we are very short of time, so I cannot.

My hon. Friend Helen Hayes also touched on the rising housing benefit bill, which is now £4.4 billion higher than in 2010. The Housing and Planning Bill included an all-out attack on social housing. On the last day of the Committee, the Government added a last-minute amendment to end secure tenancies for social tenants without any consultation or impact assessment.

I would like the Minister to respond to two questions. If home ownership is the only way forward, where are people who cannot get a mortgage meant to live? Can he confirm that starter homes will be for first-time buyers and will not be available to cash buyers?

The Housing and Planning Bill will lead to a loss of affordable homes to rent and buy, but more than anything it is a missed opportunity to tackle the housing crisis head on, to provide greater security, stability and safety to tenants in the private rented sector, to offer a genuine hand-up to those who are trying to get on the property ladder and to build more social housing. We have seen a comprehensive spending review and an autumn statement that have failed to provide for a programme of affordable house building and have attacked many tenants on low incomes due to cuts in housing benefits.

For five years the Conservatives have had the chance to tackle the housing crisis. They have failed. They have their own track record, and it is one of five years of failure. They should and will be judged on it.