New Shadow Housing Minister’s First Speaking Engagement
October 15, 2013 |
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Less than a week into her new role as shadow housing minister, Emma Reynolds has had to make her debut public speech, appearing at a conference into the private rented sector organised by law firm Winckworth Sherwood.
She described the key to growing the private rented sector as being a combination of stability, affordability and quality of homes. She also said that a Labour government would focus on tackling the unpredictability of rising rents, the insecurity of short-term tenancies, and letting agents’ fees.
She hinted that the Labour party is looking closely at mortgage lenders and their products, the vast majority of which do not allow landlords to give longer tenancies. She argues that longer tenancies are necessary for providing stability for children living in the private rented sector, but would also benefit landlords financially due to less void periods.
Also speaking at the conference, Karen Cooksley, partner and head of planning at Winckworth Sherwood, said, “There needs to be a cultural shift in the UK, as in the past all political parties have focused on owner occupation in the housing sector and on the aspiration to own a home.
“A message for the future will need to focus on the fact that people haven’t failed if they choose to rent… There are many more people in the rental sector than there were 10 years ago, so this cannot be ignored.”