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Labour delegates line up to lambast landlords over rental sector failings

Speaker after speaker in Brighton said landlords are 'greedy' and the private rental sector 'broken'.

Nigel Lewis

labour conference 2021

Labour party members at the annual conference lined up to take aim at private landlords, whom many blamed for the housing crisis.

GMB delegate Ben Cook said Boston Borough Council had been unable to rehouse him, despite living in a one bedroom flat with three disabled children.

Said Cook: “My experience is shared by millions of working-class families. We live in a country where private landlords can exploit families and tenants by charging extortionate rents.”

Fellow delegate Lucy Phillips, from Warwick and Leamington CLP, said she was a single mum, working full time, and six weeks away from eviction.

“We need to cap private rent in properties and take back control from property developers,” said Phillips. “We deserve better than being turfed out onto the streets because greedy landlords want more money.”

john cotton labour conferenceJohn Cotton (pictured), chair of the Labour housing group, said the current housing crisis was the shameful legacy of a decade of Tory rule, and that while thousands were marooned in temporary accommodation, thousands more were at the mercy of an unregulated private sector.

“Tenants’ rights are being stripped away, overcrowding runs rife and councils can’t build new housing at a pace we need,” said Cotton. “We want to establish a basic human right to housing.”

Conference delegates voted in favour of a motion that Labour would fully fund councils to deliver 150,000 homes for social rent each year, including 100,000 council homes.

The party would also end right to buy, strengthen tenants’ rights, scrap section 21 and give power back to councils away from developers. Cotton added: “Our mission is to end Tory government and fix the broken housing system to give everyone the right to an affordable, decent and secure home.”

Other speakers called on Labour to give renters more rights in areas with high numbers of second and holiday homes, and lifelong assured tenancies in assured council properties.

Labour’s central committee report into the ‘broken housing market’ says it is concerned that there have been huge cuts to investment in new affordable homes to rent and buy, adding that it welcomes Labour’s strong commitment to tackle the systemic problems in the private rented sector including a cap on rents and an end to ‘no fault’ evictions.

September 28, 2021

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