I am often contacted by local residents about housing. I’ve worked hard to ensure that the Government reflects the needs of Harlow’s renters, Harlow’s first time buyers and Harlow’s homeless. The Government have just released housing plans which mean more affordable homes, fairer rent and extra help for the vulnerable.
More affordable homes. Firstly, this announcement is good news for first time buyers and will help hard working people get on the housing ladder. The Government is helping people to save for a deposit with Help to Buy ISAs, supporting loans to help people take out more affordable mortgages, building new starter homes, increasing the housing supply by opening up more brownfield land and offering innovative schemes such as shared ownership to make buying more accessible.
Fairer rents. Secondly, these proposals will help and protect renters. Often people come to my surgeries because they can’t afford private renting. For the average couple who are privately renting, rent now takes up half of their gross income. We will stop unfair exploitation, by banning letting agent fees, fining and banning the worst landlords and agents, encouraging longer term leases to give families security and ensure better protection for renters in overcrowded accommodation or unfit properties. The Government will ensure that renting is fairer for hardworking families.
Social justice. Thirdly and more importantly, these measures are about helping the vulnerable and homeless. They will ensure that there is more supported accommodation for vulnerable and elderly people and will do more to tackle homelessness. Together with other targeted areas in Essex, Harlow will be receiving £891,300 as part of the Government’s Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers scheme. This funding is for local authorities to try out new initiatives to target families and individuals who they believe to be at risk so that they can stop being made homeless in the first place.
These housing plans will help to build an even better Harlow and ensure there is Harlow housing for Harlow people. We are supporting more affordable homes, fairer rents and helping those who need it most in supported housing or without any home at all.