Our housing market is broken and there needs to be bold and wide-ranging reform. We urgently need to build more homes - in particular more affordable homes - to improve the quality and affordability of the private rented sector and to ensure that first-time buyers are able to get on the housing ladder. We also need to ensure that housing becomes and remains a national priority for government.
I know from the large number of e-mails I have received that many local people share these concerns and are increasingly frustrated by a housing market that simply does not work for them. I am particularly concerned about the exploitation of tenants in the private rented sector which has caused financial hardship and distress for so many.
The Government need to do much more to address this and to provide greater security for the 11 million people that now rent from private landlords. It is disappointing, therefore, that the Government have not brought forward a strategy to achieve this and that the 2015 Queen's Speech included no mention of reforming the private rented sector.
In particular, I would like to see stronger action to tackle unreasonable fees and rent rises and to raise standards across the private rented sector. That is why I stood at the General Election on a manifesto that included plans to ban excessive letting agent fees, to introduce a national register of landlords and to introduce more stable three-year tenancies as standard and implement a ceiling on rent rises during the period of these tenancies.
I have made it one of my top priorities, as a candidate and now as MP, to campaign on housing issues, particularly on availability, affordability and the need for landlords and letting agencies to be properly regulated.