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I thank their lordships for their amazing work on this Bill. Thirteen defeats and a string of concessions means that some of the sharpest edges have been knocked off a very bad Bill, but it remains an extraordinary and extreme piece of proposed legislation. Concern is being voiced by housing experts, charities, house builders, mortgage lenders, and Conservatives across a range of council leaders, MPs and peers. Doubts about the Bill matter, but even more important are the deeper doubts—on all fronts and with good reason—about whether the Conservative party is competent to fix our housing crisis.
Since 2010, home ownership has fallen, homelessness and rough sleeping has doubled, private rents have soared, housing benefit costs have ballooned, and during the last Parliament, fewer new homes were built than under any peacetime Government since the 1920s. This Bill does little to tackle the overall housing shortage or produce more housing across all tenures, including housing to rent as well as buy. With the exception of provisions on rogue landlords, it does nothing to improve the private rented sector on which so many people now rely.