- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The Report stage (day one) of the Housing and Planning Bill was debated in the House of Commons on Tuesday 5 January 2016.
HM opposition Labour Party called for this debate to be postponed until a later date, by voting to reject the programme motion. But the result of this vote was 303 to 195 in favour of pushing on with a session on Tuesday evening until 2am. This meant that the Bill was not properly scrutinised with many important clauses being decided late in the night.
Under the Conservative Government, home ownership has fallen every year since 2010, and this Bill is the latest instalment of disappointment for aspiring home-owners. Even with the proposed Starter Homes 20% publically funded discount, Starter Homes are still too expensive for most families and young people on ordinary incomes. The Bill provides for the discount to only be made available on the first sale, but the property can then be sold for full market value after as little as five years. Labour’s amendment would make this discount more permanent and would also turn this public discount into a rolling investment rather than a one-off windfall.
The Government have dismissed evidence from charities such as Shelter who have spoken out against the measures of this Bill. The Economist have also argued that a serious consequence of this Bill is that “poor households may find it even harder to find a place in Britain’s affordable housing market.”
This amendment would ensure that new developments include a range of affordable housing options, to rent and buy.
The results were: Ayes 190, Noes 304.
I voted in favour of a proposed amendment to the Bill:
“The restrictions on resales and letting at open market value relating to first time buyer starter homes must be in perpetuity.”
The amendment would require the discount to remain in perpetuity.
The results were: Ayes 194, Noes 301.