CIEH has warmly welcomed the UK Government’s White Paper on Levelling Up, and called the commitments to improving housing standards and introducing a national register for landlords a firm step in the right direction.
The Government released its White Paper on Levelling Up earlier today, with the expressed aim of spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of the UK. The White Paper sets out plans for the significant devolution of power from Whitehall to local leaders across England, with every part of England having the potential to have a “London style” devolution deal with the Mayoral Combined Authority Deal by 2030.
CIEH has campaigned loudly for a commitment to better housing standards and has praised the measures outlined in the White Paper to mirror these calls. These measures include:
- A commitment to consult on introducing a landlords register, and set out plans for a crackdown on rogue landlords
- All homes in the private rented sector will have to meet a Decent Homes Standard, which currently only applies to the social rented sector
- Re-confirming that Section 21 “no fault” eviction will be abolished which will stop renters being kicked out of their homes for no reason
- Commitment to the new Social Housing Regulation Bill which will deliver upon the commitments that the government made following the Grenfell tragedy
In addition, the Government has said it will set out its strategy to tackle the core drivers of health inequalities through a new White Paper on Health Disparities published this year.
The White Paper will also take forward recommendations from Henry Dimbleby’s flagship review towards a National Food Strategy as well as pilot the Community Eat Well Programme, enabling GPs to prescribe exercise and healthy food.
Dr Phil James, CIEH Chief Executive, said:
“There are a number of announcements within this White Paper that we are very pleased to see, most notably the UK Government outlining their support for our campaign for a national register of landlords.
Local authorities, tenants and central Government need to have a better idea of exactly where privately rented properties are located, whether these properties meet some basic safety checks and who is managing the properties. Poor quality housing can put tenants’ lives at risk. Introducing a national landlord register is therefore a no-brainer. We are pleased that the Government has finally taken a step in the right direction by accepting this necessity and committing to a consultation on this issue.
A new minimum standard for privately rented homes is welcome but only if the standards are ambitious and enforceable for local authorities. We need to see more detail on how the Government sets this minimum standard and how local authorities, and our members, will be supported to enforce it.
Finally, we are pleased to see longer term announcements aimed at fighting health inequalities and reducing air pollution and carbon emissions. Our work on the Environment Bill highlighted how action is desperately needed in this area.
Furthermore, it is positive to hear that Henry Dimbleby’s recommendations will be taken forward in a new National Food Strategy.
These are a positive package of measures covering some of the key areas CIEH has been vocally campaigning on. We look forward to continuing to work with government at all levels to bring them to fruition.”