Jeff Smith, Labour’s general election candidate for Manchester Withington, has today highlighted the need for real change for private renters.
Recent House of Commons analysis showed that over 2,000,000 private renting households in England are having to pay more than a third of their income in rent.
In the North West, 194,000 households are paying more than a third of net household income in rent – 33% of all private renters in the area.
Local people have also been hit with steeply rising costs. In Manchester, average monthly rent has increased from £575 in 2013/14, to £839 in the last financial year. That means people are now having to pay on average £264 more per month – an increase of 46%.
Official figures show that the building of homes for affordable home ownership has fallen to a 27 year low under the Conservatives. The number of new social rented homes has fallen by over 80%, meaning we are now building 30,000 fewer socially rented homes each year than under the last Labour government.
This is making it harder for families to meet rising housing costs and impossible to build the homes the country needs.
Labour has pledged to build a million affordable homes over ten years including homes for living rent linked to a third of average local household incomes.
Living rent homes are part Labour’s long-term plan to establish new types of housing linked to what people can afford to pay, not what landlords or developers can get away with charging. They would form part of Labour’s programme to build more new homes of all types, for rent and for sale.
Commenting, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for housing John Healey MP said:
“After nine years of failure the Conservatives have no plan to fix the cost of housing crisis.
“Millions of people are paying more than they can really afford in monthly rent, while new social housebuilding has dropped to the lowest levels since the Second World War under this Government.
“Labour would build new ‘living rent’ homes priced to be affordable to those on ordinary incomes and young families so they have a bit more for the things they need and can save for a deposit to buy that special first home.”
“We have a large number of people renting privately in south Manchester, particularly students and young families. Unfortunately, many of them are not getting a fair deal.
“As a local MP and lifelong local resident, I know the problems people are facing with unaffordable rent, over-crowding, landlords unwilling to complete basic repairs and general insecurity about being able to stay in the place they call home.
“This needs to change. I welcome Labour’s commitments to scrap ‘no fault’ evictions, control rents for private renters and give councils new powers to regulate the private rented sector.”