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Housing the subject of two new select committee inquiries

Week in Westminster

Published: 3 February 2017 | Author: Michelle Vosper

The Government published its first white paper on Brexit setting out the government’s negotiating strategy. The document is designed to accompany the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which passed its first high profile vote at second reading in the House of Commons.

The Commons CLG committee has launched a new inquiry into whether the housing on offer in England for older people is sufficiently available and suitable for their needs. The inquiry follows research which indicates pensioners are stuck in oversized properties worth £820bn.

Housing is also the subject of a new inquiry by the Commons Public Accounts committee. The committee will be considering the recent National Audit Office report giving an overview of the housing market in England, the DCLG and the overall housing policy landscape.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill had it final Commons stages earlier this week. Labour MP Andy Slaughter attempted to add two new clauses to the bill. The first would have prevented private landlords from using the “notice only” grounds for possession for the first three years of the tenancy where the tenant would become homeless. And the second new clause would have effectively introduced a form of rent control on new assured shorthold tenancies. DCLG minister Mark Jones discarded both of these amendments would lead to fewer rental properties and less choice for tenants. Both amendments were subsequently withdrawn. The Bill has now been introduced into the House of Lords and will have its second reading debate on 24 February.

And in Wales, the CML along with Principality Building Society gave oral evidence to the Welsh Assembly’s public affairs committee in respect of its inquiry into the regulatory oversight of housing associations. The committee asked questions in relation to lenders’ views on, and confidence in, the Welsh government’s system for regulation of housing associations in respect of lending to the sector.