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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:56 pm, 9th April 2019

That is why it is important that it is coming through. The important thing here is that the guidance is coming through now, and there has been great respect for that, which I am very pleased about.

I am appalled at the way in which issues are turned into political footballs. There is no stronger Department in trying to deal with such issues one by one, in a logical way, so that nobody ends up sleeping rough or dying on our streets. The important thing is that the Government totally get this. We are spending an awful lot of money to change things around, because that is what is important. People out there realise that changes are being made in the private rented sector, changes are being made for tenants, and changes are being made to professionalise the professional services—the letting agents and managing agents. Leasehold changes are on the way. There are all sorts of things in our country that are wrong; they need to change, and it is this Government who are going to change them.

I am delighted that our ministerial team is on the case, looking at how many houses we need to build in the year; looking at giving councils the freedoms to build more council houses; encouraging social housing to grow; encouraging first-time buyers; encouraging veterans to get on the housing ladder once they leave the armed forces; making sure that veterans are not sleeping rough and that they get the help they need; and looking after people in Scotland, where there are innovative ideas—I looked at rough sleeping issues and Housing First in Glasgow. All these ideas are very important to the Government; no one should be left under any illusion about the fact that only the Government are making the changes that will get these things right.

People’s lives are at risk. People’s happiness is at risk. We want to make sure that fairness is sorted out for the future. I pay huge tribute to the teams of civil servants that are going round the country making sure that people get the help they need. In Medway and Cornwall, there has been a 40% reduction in rough sleepers. These are huge changes, and I am very proud of what the Government are doing.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 9(3)).