Housing minister Felicity Buchan went before the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee at Westminster late yesterday afternoon in a bid to lay out government strategy on rent reform.
Buchan, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has only been in the job five days and was joined by Charlotte Spencer, Director, Private Rented Sector and Leasehold, also from the department.
Buchan told the committee, chaired by Labour MP Clive Betts, that it was “important to look at what the White Paper was trying to achieve – giving a fairer deal for landlords and tenants”.
When pressed by Betts at the outset she stressed that what the White Paper does not do is try to address affordability issues.
She told the committee that rent rises could only be controlled by building more homes.
Affordability is a separate issue which is clearly very, very tied to supply.”
“I think it’s very important to look at what the white paper is trying to achieve, and what it is trying to achieve is a fairer deal for tenants and for landlords. Affordability is a separate issue which is clearly very, very tied to supply. That is not the purpose of this white paper to look at housing supply as a whole.
“This is about making sure that we get a good deal for tenants and landlords. The vision for the white paper is to make sure that any tenant has a decent and secure home, that they are in a position to exercise their rights, and that at the same time landlords have the ability to get possession if they need it on reasonable grounds.”
The committee previously heard from Councillor Ian Corkin, Deputy Leader, Cherwell District Council and Councillor Ben Fitter-Harding, Leader, Canterbury City Council on the impact of the rent reforms, which were originally published in June.