Housing Group Moves Home
Housing Group Moves Home

Fleetwood’s Regenda Homes normally provides social housing for the people of the town – but this time it’s Regenda that’s moved home! On Friday I popped down to the new Fleetwood Hospital development where Regenda have moved from their Lord Street premises  into 5,000sq ft of office space on the ground and first floor of the building and is now part of a hub of organisations, all aiming to improve the lives of people living in Fleetwood. The Learning Foundry, which is part of The Regenda Group, will have a bespoke campus within the building, where they will provide employment and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, traineeships and courses for adults across Fleetwood.

Here in Fleetwood we have an above average number of people renting their homes – and many who aren’t housed by Regenda, are at the mercy of private landlords who have been able, under ‘section 21’ to evict tenants without a reason, whilst giving just two months notice.

With housing in short supply, its almost impossible to find new private rental accommodation and when they do, renters are often having to pay hundreds of pounds more in monthly rental or have to leave the area where they work, where their kids go to school, they have to change to new doctors and so much more upheaval which all leads to stress and distress.

Tenants are often reluctant to request repairs or complain, fearing they’ll be turfed out if they do. I have constituents who have ended up living without working boilers, running water, walls covered in mold due to damp and no cooking facilities.

For years, Labour MPs, housing activists and charities have fought for the abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act (1988) – Thatcherite legislation that became better known as “no-fault evictions”.

Now, more than 30 years later, the government has published the ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’ White Paper and we’re keeping our fingers crossed they finally abolish section 21.

Whilst obviously more security for renters is welcome, action is needed now, not after yet another consultation. While the Government has dithered and delayed, rents and evictions have shot up – rents have gone up by over £500 (average national rent increases 2019-2022) while no-fault evictions are up 41% on pre-pandemic levels.

According to research from the House of Commons Library, 46% of social renters and 33% of private renters were in relative poverty in 2019/20, compared to 15% of people who owned their home outright and 11% of those who have a mortgage.

There are 214,000 fewer home owning households aged under-45 than when Labour left office in 2010. Since then, the number of households in the private rented sector has increased by over a million. Nearly 3.6 million adults under 35 still live with their parents – over one in four.

Shockingly, the number of new homes for affordable homeownership has fallen by 95% since 2010.

Despite inflation being predicted to reach almost 10% this year, the Government is cutting funding available to local councils to support struggling renters through Discretionary Housing Payments by £40 million, down by more than 25% relative to last year.

Labour is calling for emergency legislation to immediately end no-fault evictions and give people more security in their home. The Government still has no long-term plan to fix the problem of unaffordable rents.

Labour has also announced plans to give first dibs on genuinely affordable new development to first time buyers and local people; re-establish the link between genuinely affordable housing and average earnings; end the system where overseas companies can buy up swathes of housing; and reform arcane leaseholds.

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