Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has confirmed that Awaab’s Law - putting a strict timescale on urgent repairs being done - will be extended into the private rental sector.
In a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing, Starmer said there was an urgent need for good quality housing of all tenures to become “the base camp for people to achieve their own aspiration, not the barrier that prevents people from reaching the summit”.
At the institute’s presidential dinner he said: “Look around the country. 140,000 children, that’s a record number, homeless in temporary accommodation. 1.6 million children living in freezing houses with mould on the wall or water leaking from the ceiling. Families cramped into unsuitable temporary accommodation.
“And there is a price to pay for every child who can’t fulfil their potential because they have no home to sleep in tonight. There is a cost to the country for every young person who won’t be able to live the life they deserve because they don’t have the housing that they need.”
In addition to pledging to extend Awaab;s Law Starmer again promised to build 1.5m homes - an average of 300,000 a year - over the course of a full Labour term with some of those homes in new towns, with first time buyers given ‘first dibs’ on new builds in their areas, plus the creation of a government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme.
He told the institute: “We want to get Britain building because we know that the homes of today are the homes of tomorrow. We can’t build a future for our country unless we build the homes that make it possible for people to think about the future.”
And he insists that he wanted to see “a country where every person has a safe, secure place that they can call a home, not just grinding, day in and day out, to make the rent every month, never able to plan ahead, no way to save for a deposit”.