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Bristol’s housing crisis: help private tenants, says Westminster hopeful

Building new homes is just part of the equation for solving Bristol’s chronic housing crisis, according to Westminster hopeful Thangam Debbonaire.

She says that more should be done to help the thousands of people who rent homes and get ripped off by dodgy landlords and letting agents.

Ms Debbonaire, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bristol West was responding to a commission’s report which revealed that the city 1,500 new affordable homes a year to overcome the crisis.

She said:
“We all recognise that housing is one of the biggest challenges Bristol faces and we all agree that under-supply is the major contributor. So I welcome the aims of the commission and all its findings, however, I think we can, and need to, go further.

“The Major himself has acknowledged the huge increase in private renting as new people come to live in our fantastic city, indeed, 43K households across Bristol now privately rent, a massive increase of 76% in just ten years.

“Yes we need to build more homes, and I welcome all plans to do that but we need to be looking at both sides of the housing landscape in Bristol and that means providing for private renters too. The commission offers nothing to those renting privately – those facing instability through short term leases, those living in sub-standard accommodation but paying over the odds, and nothing to tackle the scale of the fees being charged to those who have no other options but to pay them.

“I call on the Mayor to do two things, firstly in the discussions following this report to turn the ‘review’ ‘process’ and ‘making best of use of’ into measurable firm plans for Bristolians, and secondly, to widen the scope and do something for the tens of thousands of Bristolians who privately rent and will do for the long term. Mayor Ferguson is also very welcome to join my campaign to end rip off letting fees of course.”

 

This article was published in the Bristol Post on 1 July 2014: read at the source.

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