In Crawley, we are in the midst of a housing crisis. There are thousands stuck on Crawley’s Housing Register for years and while many local residents are working every hour they can to save a deposit for a mortgage, it simply isn’t possible for them to put enough together to get a foot on the housing ladder.
Speaking to young people in Crawley, their dreams of ever owning their own home have long since evaporated. For ‘generation rent’ the yardstick against which their parents measured their progress in life is now entirely beyond their grasp. While some may find the flexibility renting offers suits their lifestyle, for far more of those forced into renting privately it is a source of permanent uncertainty around one of the most fundamental of human needs.
The number of privately rented properties has risen dramatically in recent years, with Crawley seeing the biggest increase in the entire South East. Currently over 6,200 houses are now being rented privately in Crawley.
Furthermore, those renting privately in Crawley are now paying even more in rent than they did in 2010. In the South East the average in 2010 was £661, now it’s £755. When rent increases are added to by various letting fees, it’s not hard to see why over half of all new Crawley households can’t afford to access private housing at all.
These problems have affected far too many local people for far too long and Labour has committed to take action to ensure both tenants and landlords can get a fair deal if elected in 2015. The next Labour Government will change the law so that three-year tenancies become the norm, protect against excessive rent rises and take action on unfair fees.
The private rental market has dramatically changed in Crawley and we need to ensure that the rules around housing catch up.
The current government has done nothing to help renters in Crawley and have outlined no solutions to solving the problems in the rental market. Only Labour is committed to addressing the issues faced by ‘generation rent’ and delivering a housing market which works for all.
Labour Ifield and Crawley Labour PPC