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Renters Manifesto demands ambitious public housing targets and urgent reforms

TENANT rights organisations have joined forces to warn political parties that their home-building plans will not fix the housing crisis without ambitious public housing targets and urgent reforms.

Generation Rent, New Economic Foundation, Acorn, London Renters Union and Greater Manchester Tenants Union launched their Renter’s Manifesto today.

The manifesto proposes improvements to private renting, including rent controls, an end to no-fault evictions, open-ended tenancies, tougher action on landlords who leave homes unsafe and in disrepair, tenancy reforms and bringing privately owned homes into public ownership.

It also calls for politicians to commit to ensuring that public funding for housing is directed solely towards an ambitious council house building programme that delivers millions more homes in 20 years.

Private rents are rising at the fastest rates in a decade, research shows, pushing record numbers of people into temporary accommodation.

In August, Shelter also warned that half of working renters are only one pay-cheque away from losing their homes — up by 31 per cent in two years.

A spokesman for the organisations behind the manifesto, Conor O’Shea, said: “It’s clear Britain needs more homes, but simply supporting developers to build lots of expensive market-rate housing won’t bring housing costs down to affordable levels for the millions of people trapped in poverty by sky-high rents.

“What renters really need is an ambitious public housing building programme that delivers 3.1 million council homes over 20 years and urgent action to fix the wild west private rented sector.”

Mr O’Shea said that Britain’s 13 million renters “face the constant threat of eviction, record rent rises and unsafe conditions,” saying: “Our rigged housing system is a key cause of worsening inequality.

“From Newcastle to Newham, all of us deserve an affordable home where we can live a good life with dignity.

“Promises to ramp up house building will take many years to deliver, and people stuck in the private rented sector in the here and now urgently need proper protections from unfair eviction, eye-watering rent rises and dangerous disrepair.”

Mr O’Shea said that politicians across all parties are not prioritising fixing the power imbalance between landlords and tenants, urging them to “listen to renters or risk deepening the crisis further.”

The Tories promised the Renters Reform Bill in their 2019 election manifesto, but discussions in Parliament have stalled.

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