Families across Luton are being hit hard by the Conservative’s Mortgage Bombshell, costing the average homeowner in Luton South an extra £258 a month, as interest rates rise again by 0.25% to 5.25%. With high food and energy prices, this is the last thing families need.
Housing is one of the most common issues that constituents contact me about. It’s reported that one in three Britons who own their home with a mortgage say they currently find it difficult to afford their mortgage payments. Nearly half of those with a mortgage think it will be hard to afford their mortgage payments in a year’s time.
This will have a knock-on impact on renters, as many landlords will be forced to put up rents or sell their property, leading to no-fault evictions and more households living in temporary accommodation.
The Government cannot disguise the fact that it has exacerbated the housing crisis. Alongside their disastrous approach to the economy that has driven up inflation, it has also failed to build homes to meet demand. Its target to build 300,000 homes a year has never been met and has now been watered down – making it advisory rather than mandatory.
Families in Luton and across the country are being made to pay the price for the Government’s failure. Recent 2021 census figures show home ownership in Luton has fallen 6.2% since 2011. At the same time, the number of households in Private Rented Sector accommodation has rocketed to 29% (an increase of over 6,000 households), and we know that the cost of renting the average 3 bed family property in Luton is now £1500 compared to £1000 in 2021/22.
One million people across the UK are waiting for a council house. More and more people are stuck in the Private Rented Sector when they should have a council house to rent. The current situation drives up demand and rent costs, while standards languish, and tenants wield too little influence over their homes.
Labour will fix the broken housing market because a secure home for everyone is the foundation of a healthy economy.
In Government, we will introduce a powerful new Private Renters Charter to make renting fairer, more secure, and more affordable, through higher-quality and properly regulated Private Rented Sector. We will also be the first government in a generation to grow the social housing sector as the most affordable and secure form of rented tenure.
Our plan also includes reforming the planning system to build the quality, affordable homes that people in Luton need, give local people first dibs on new homes in their area, and get more people on the ladder.