MP Robert Halfon praises measures to tackle rents and affordable houses

Politics / Mon 13th Jul 2015 at 09:51am

FOLLOWING the government’s budget last Wednesday, Harlow MP Robert Halfon has welcomed a series of announcements to tackle rents, landlords and affordable housing.

Announced in the budget was a commitment to reduce rents paid by tenants in social housing in England by 1% a year for 4 years from 2016. As a result, by 2020 rents will be 12% lower than current official forecasts.

Robert Halfon said:

“I welcome the news that the cost of renting will be reduced significantly over the next five years. As well as cutting people’s taxes and increasing their pay, reducing rents will help many Harlow residents with the cost of living.”

In addition to the reduction in social housing rent, action will also be taken to tackle rogue landlords in the private sector.

“I am glad that councils across the country will be given £6.7 million to crack down on rogue landlords in their area. Alongside this, a new Model Tenancy Agreement has also been announced which will help tenants to agree longer tenancies with their landlords to give them more stability.”

Also announced in the budget were measures to radically increase the supply of affordable housing. Robert Halfon said:

“I also welcome the budget because it gives hundreds of families in Harlow the chance to own their own home.”

“The government are extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants. This will potentially benefit almost 1,800 families in Harlow.”

“Right to Buy has already helped over two million families get on the housing ladder since it was first launched in 1980 and now many more people will have the same opportunity.”

“This is part of our commitment to back families who have worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules. This will mean a new generation of people able to achieve their dream and enjoy the security that comes from owning your own home.”

In addition to the extension of Right to Buy, the government will also be continuing with the Help to Buy scheme, which helps families take out a mortgage on a deposit of just 5%. The scheme has already helped over 100 families in Harlow since it was introduced, and it will now continue until 2020.

“I am also pleased that the government has chosen to help people take their first step onto the housing ladder through the Help to Buy ISA. This scheme will mean that from 1st December, for every £200 a first time buyer saves towards a deposit on a house, the government will give them an extra £50.”

On Friday the Chancellor unveiled plans to help speed up house building in the UK. Further reforms to planning will mean that “suitable” brown field sites will be granted planning permission automatically.

“As well as helping tenants and backing savers the government must build more homes that Harlow residents can afford.”

“I am pleased that over 217,000 new affordable homes have been delivered since 2010 and 55,000 will continue to be delivered each year to 2020.”

“Since April 2011, Harlow has received nearly £3 million through the New Homes Bonus, recognising the delivery of thousands more homes, and hundreds of empty homes being brought back into use.”

“Alongside this, schemes such as Help-to-Buy have helped almost 100,000 people get on the housing ladder and a new scheme has been launched which will build 200,000 new Starter Homes specifically for first-time buyers at a price they can afford.

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1 Comment for MP Robert Halfon praises measures to tackle rents and affordable houses:

2015-07-14 15:06:07

However, the bedroom tax remains, and is crippling a number of families across Harlow! I notice not even a mention in this piece or the budget!

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