The leasehold system is an outdated form of tenure that affects many in Hackney. The Government keeps flip flopping on its promises about this so Labour called a debate on leasehold reform and urged the Government to act. Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government, Lisa Nandy, pressed the Government to keep its promises to abolish leasehold for new flats and begin the process to phase out existing leasehold and make commonhold the default option.
I spoke in a debate on No Recourse to Public Funds. This is a condition on some visas, whereby people are allowed to live and work in the UK but have no access to taxpayer-funded benefits. This may seem reasonable, but in places like Hackney, where rents are so high, it means no access to housing benefit for hardworking taxpayers. This is a real concern for many in Hackney and puts them in some really difficult situations.
The Government pushed through its Illegal Migration Bill in the House of Commons, despite myself and Labour colleagues voting against it. The Bill will now go to the Lords and, due to the Government's majority, is likely to become law. The legislation criminalises people who cross the Channel in small boats, risking their lives to cross one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. This approach is wrong, inhumane, and it simply won't work. We need a much better solution.
I voted against the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill. However, due to the Government’s majority it passed its remaining Commons stages anyway. The Bill is now in the House of Lords – further updates will be available here. This process usually takes weeks, but the Government rushed the Bill through in just a few hours. Legislation with such huge ramifications for vulnerable asylum seekers deserves proper scrutiny; I am deeply disappointed that the Government refused to let MPs review the Bill effectively.
People need a safe, secure and long-term home as the foundation for their life and the springboard for opportunity.
That means home ownership must not be an out of reach dream for people in Hackney.
And it means better rights and stability for private tenants.
At my surgeries I am constantly seeing the effects of our shortage in housing. Despite the Mayor of Hackney building as many council homes as he can, we are now seeing people being sent as far away as Peterborough for temporary accommodation. The Government has missed every target it set itself on housing. This is unsustainable. We need a national government programme that actually delivers on building new homes.
The backlogs in the Home Office are the worst I’ve seen in my 18 years as MP.
The Immigration Minister needs to get a grip