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Results 1–20 of 800 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Barwell

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Assured Shorthold Tenancies (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: On 18 April, 20 leading members of the British Property Federation pledged to offer three-year tenancies in build-for-rent developments, and leading housing associations have made a similar pledge. We hope that will encourage a shift in the market towards more landlords offering longer tenancies.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Assured Shorthold Tenancies (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: My hon. Friend is right to raise the issue of security for people in the private rented sector, and he is also right to identify the issue of lending. Since the Government introduced their model tenancy agreement, which has appropriate break clauses, there is no longer any impediment to landlord customers submitting longer tenancies. The majority now permit tenancies of up to two to three years.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Assured Shorthold Tenancies (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: I had the opportunity to visit Cambridge very recently, and I share the hon. Gentleman’s diagnosis of the problem: we desperately need to build more homes in this country to give people more choice. He is also right about our employment market, but it is the policies of this Government that have driven record levels of employment, and it is the national living wage that is increasing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Assured Shorthold Tenancies (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: My hon. Friend is right that we need to ensure that, when a tenant behaves antisocially or is in rent arrears, landlords can regain possession, but the fundamental pressure we face at the moment is in giving the increasing number of families in the private rented sector the security they need. Reforming our housing market, increasing supply and bringing in these new build-to-rent schemes that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Assured Shorthold Tenancies (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: The suggestion that Conservative Members do not care about these issues is as ridiculous as it is insulting. The work of Labour councils to which the shadow Minister refers is often being funded by this Government. He is factually wrong to suggest that this Government are blocking borough-wide selective licensing, and I point out the many reforms that we are introducing—we are banning...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Social Housing Rent Arrears (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: In 2015-16, about 685,000 socially renting households were either in arrears or had been in the previous 12 months, which represents 25% of households in that sector.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Social Housing Rent Arrears (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: In 2011-12, the first year in which the data were collected, the figure was 23.5%, so the current figure is similar to what we inherited from the Labour Government. On the benefit cap, Conservative Members believe very clearly that it is completely wrong for out-of-work households to receive support far in excess of that which their working neighbours earn when they go out to work....

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Social Housing Rent Arrears (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: I am happy to pay tribute to the work that Kettering Borough Council has done, and I reassure my hon. Friend that the Ministry of Justice’s protocol for social landlords stresses the value of preventive measures in respect of rent arrears and advises landlords to deploy alternatives to eviction wherever possible.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Social Housing Rent Arrears (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: We have had discussions with DWP colleagues, and I make two brief points to the hon. Gentleman. First, universal credit advances are available for new claims, and those should be taken up. Secondly, DWP research shows that after four months the proportion of universal credit claimants who were in arrears at the start of their claims had fallen by a third. So there is an initial problem, and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Social Housing Rent Arrears (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: The Government have significantly increased the discretionary housing payments that are available to local authorities to assist those affected by welfare reform changes. The whole emphasis of the policy on which the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr Jones) is working is to try to shift the approach to emphasise...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Affordable Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: Since April 2010, we have delivered on average more than 50,800 affordable homes per years, 36,300 of which were affordable homes for rent. Under the previous Government, the annual average was only 42,900, of which only 28,700 were homes for rent.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Affordable Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: As I just said and contrary to what the shadow Housing Minister said, higher levels of affordable housing are being delivered under this Government than were delivered under the previous Labour Government. Nevertheless, if the right hon. Gentleman’s local council is delivering new council homes, I am glad to hear it. We want more homes of every kind. In Croydon, it was a Conservative...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Affordable Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: I warmly welcome what my hon. Friend has to say and his support for building the homes that we so desperately need in this country. Contrary to what we often hear from the shadow Front-Bench team, there is a widespread consensus across the country that we desperately need to build more homes of every kind to tackle the housing crisis that has been building in this country for the past 30 or...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Affordable Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: The right-to-buy scheme has helped nearly 2 million hard-working people own their own home in this country. Since we reinvigorated the right-to-buy scheme in 2012, we have made it a condition that, for each home that is sold, we replace it with a new affordable home. That is the right policy as we help people who have the aspiration to buy their home, but we also make sure that the rented...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Affordable Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: People can look back at the record of the last Labour Government—how many council homes were built between 1997 and 2010? What level of house building did we inherit from the Labour Government in 2010? The truth is that house building in this country has been increasing under this Government. Certainly, there is still further to go, but we are the party that is committed to building more...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Local Housing Provision (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: It is essential that local plans start with an honest assessment of housing need in the area. As we set out in our housing White Paper, we will introduce a standardised approach to assessing housing need to ensure that that is the case.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Local Housing Provision (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: The methodology will reveal the real level of housing need in Leeds. Local authorities across the country choose to build more homes than are needed because they have an ambition to grow. There is a legitimate debate to be had about that, but my hon. Friend’s constituents should have a clear understanding of what the relevant need is. I should add that the housing White Paper makes it clear...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Local Housing Provision (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: That is exactly the purpose of the new methodology that we plan to introduce. The level of housing need for which we plan should reflect the real market demand for housing in an area.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Park Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: In the past year, we have received representations from park home residents as well as members of the all-party parliamentary group. Our call for evidence reviewing the legislation was published on 12 April, and addressed key concerns, including charges, site management and harassment.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Park Homes (24 Apr 2017)

Gavin Barwell: Bullying and harassment are not acceptable in any form, which is why we introduced the Mobile Homes Act 2013, which gives local authorities greater power. We shall obviously listen to the response to the call for evidence to see whether further action is required to stop the kind of behaviour that my right hon. Friend described.


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