MP warns Government Housing Policy is failing residents
Easington MP Grahame Morris has warned that Government housing policy is failing people in East Durham.
Questioning the Housing Minister, Mr Morris highlighted the issue of absentee landlords and the increasing number of derelict properties becoming a focus for crime and anti-social behaviour.
Mr Morris called on the Government to listen to the concerns of local communities and outline a policy to deliver much-needed housing regeneration in the Easington constituency.
In response, Stuart Andrew, Housing Minister said “The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight that matter, and we do take it incredibly seriously. Officials were up in his area not so long ago looking at those very issues. We are proud of the fact that we are getting a lot of support from political leaders of all persuasions to work with us in our mission to level up and address the very issues that he has just highlighted.”
Mr Morris dismissed the Minister’s response and speaking after Departmental Questions said:
“The Conservative Government have had 12 years, but we only receive warm words from Ministers rather than any tangible action. Government policies such as the bedroom tax have undermined local investment leading to an influx of absentee private landlords. Unvetted tenants, properties left derelict, rising crime and anti-social behaviour are the symptoms of a failed housing policy.
The Government created a new department to focus on Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, but with the same old Ministers, there are no new ideas or thinking and the department is failing on all three fronts.
We need action, we need change, and we need new ideas from Government to help us rebuild local housing and communities.”
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
What support his Department is providing to deliver housing regeneration in former industrial areas.
Our levelling-up White Paper makes a new offer to support transformational regeneration in towns and cities across the country. We have already announced our support in Wolverhampton, Sheffield and Blackpool We are providing billions of pounds to support regeneration through our brownfield housing funds and levelling-up fund.
Will the Minister and his colleagues look at the wider remit of the Department, namely levelling up and communities, to deliver a workable policy on private-sector housing regeneration? My constituency suffers from a plethora of absentee landlord-owned derelict properties that are often a focus for crime and antisocial behaviour. Will the Secretary of State and the Minister listen to communities in Blackhall, Horden, Dawdon and Easington Colliery, which are in desperate need of levelling up in the form of housing regeneration, and come forward with a workable plan based on need rather than a beauty contest?
The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight that matter, and we do take it incredibly seriously. Officials were up in his area not so long ago looking at those very issues. We are proud of the fact that we are getting a lot of support from political leaders of all persuasions to work with us in our mission to level up and address the very issues that he has just highlighted.