Results 1–20 of 531 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Heather Wheeler

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Sharma, as it was to serve under Ms Ryan’s. I thank the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston (Kate Green) for securing the debate and providing an opportunity to debate all the issues. I understand that she and many of us present today want better protection for purchasers of new-build homes. The Government are committed to making the...

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: I thank the hon. Lady for that very useful intervention. My team will take that back and we will write to her with an answer. We know more needs to be done and expect more to be done. That is why the Government announced measures to champion the rights of buyers of new-build homes, including a new homes ombudsman. That will provide one obvious place for consumers to go, and will have the...

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: There are discussions going on about commonhold. I will be happy to talk to my hon. Friend about this offline. Our technical consultation on how to improve the leasehold market and make it fairer for consumers has now closed, and we are analysing the responses. We want to see developers support everyone who has onerous ground rents, including second-hand buyers, and for customers to be...

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Given the previous week’s history of sharing legal advice, I might skip over that one, if the hon. Gentleman does not mind. Perhaps he and I could have a cup of tea. The £10 peppercorn ground rent was part of our recent leasehold consultation and we will be considering our approach in light of the responses to the consultation.

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Black pepper or white pepper?

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Or pink—yes, please—or green; we could have green pepper as well. This poor Hansard writer, dearie me. I recognise that many freeholders have to pay charges toward the maintenance and upkeep of communal areas on an estate. That is especially prevalent on new estates, exactly as the hon. Member for Blaydon mentioned. Freeholders who are unhappy about the transparency of those charges are...

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The hon. Lady poses a number of questions, all of which are very interesting. I will reread Hansard after the debate and take on board what I can. The Government agree that the situation is unfair, so we intend to introduce a new statutory regime and are considering whether freeholders should have a right to change the provider of maintenance services by applying to the tribunal for...

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Absolutely. I am sorry that the hon. Lady did not hear me say it, but the Secretary of State has written to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the SRA.

Treasury Committee: Protection for Homebuyers (13 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: My absolute pleasure. We must ensure that everybody has the protection they deserve and is treated fairly, and that all efforts are made to ensure that builders build to the standards and finishes that we expect. Once again, I thank the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston for securing this valuable debate, and I look forward to her summing-up speech, right now.

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Homelessness and Social Housing (10 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Access to social housing is managed locally, but certain people must be given priority, including homeless households. The social housing Green Paper announced an evidence collection exercise to understand how the allocations framework is working and whether it is striking the right balance of fairness, support and aspiration.

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Homelessness and Social Housing (10 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: I thank my hon. Friend for his question. Unfortunately, I did not hear the very beginning of it, but I think the gist was that the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is a very welcome new Act. We are grateful for everybody’s hard work on it earlier this year. We will review it after 24 months, but so far my understanding is that local councils are impressed with how well it is being embedded.

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Topical Questions (10 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The hon. Lady is absolutely right. It was appalling what was happening in Bristol in that hostel. The Government are committed to protecting vulnerable people. We are developing robust oversight of all supported housing, including homelessness hostels, and are undertaking a review of housing-related support services to ensure that all provision is of good quality and that appropriate support...

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Graham. I refer Members to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I congratulate the hon. Member for Westminster North (Ms Buck) on securing the debate and thank all those who have made wonderful contributions today for their interesting stories from across the country, which tug at the heartstrings. This is an...

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Fortunately, as we have so much time, I have an extremely long speech and the hon. Gentleman might be stunned to hear what I have to say. Or he may not. Growing numbers of tenants are families or older people and the Government are firmly committed to helping them. The measures announced in the housing White Paper mean that most tenants in the build-to-rent sector are now being offered...

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: I am sure that the hon. Lady has espoused the brilliance of the licensing scheme in Newham and the brilliance of her council. Perhaps her council should have gone round to the flat to deal with the dreadful situation that she has enlightened us with today.

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: We will indeed; I would be delighted to have that conversation. As I stressed at the start of my speech, property is a valuable asset and landlords may need to gain possession quickly for various reasons, perhaps because they wish to sell the property, or to enable them or a family member to move in. As I said, there is a clear legal protection for tenants, and a clear process that landlords...

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The hon. Member for West Ham says from a sedentary position that I cannot. The absolute truth is that the person must go to the local authority as soon as they get the section 21 notice, and the local authority then has a duty to help them.

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: They will not go? Okay, we will find out. The hon. Member for Bath (Wera Hobhouse) mentioned affordability. That issue is exactly the reason why the Government introduced the £1 billion Build to Rent fund, and the £3.5 billion private rented sector guarantee scheme, to help support the building of thousands of extra homes specifically for private rent. We want Build to Rent to continue to...

Select Committee on Education: Section 21 Evictions (6 Dec 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Fortunately, as I go on with my speech, the hon. Lady will hear even more good news. We are going further, delivering the homes that the country requires. The Government are committed to building more affordable homes, supporting the different needs of a wide range of people. The Government are committed to increasing the supply of social affordable housing and have made £9 billion available...


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