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Member Briefing: Pared down Queen’s Speech promotes fairness in the housing market

Date: 22/06/17

Pared down Queen’s Speech promotes fairness in the housing market

The Queen’s Speech was delivered on Wednesday 21 June to mark the state opening of Parliament. Four days earlier the Government announced that there would be no Queen’s Speech in 2018 to allow the Government to focus on Brexit negotiations and related work programmes over the next two years. Due to the short lead time caused by the snap election and the proximity to the Trooping of the Colour ceremony of the previous weekend, the ceremonial elements of the Queen’s Speech were stripped back significantly.

The Queen’s Speech outlined proposals to ban unfair tenant fees and cap deposits through the Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill, promote fairness and transparency in the housing market, and help ensure more of the right homes are built in the right places. The latter will be done by delivering “the reforms proposed in the Housing White Paper to increase transparency around the control of land, to ‘free up more land for new homes in the right places, speed up build-out by encouraging modern methods of construction and diversify who builds homes in the country.’” Regarding leasehold houses, the Government “will look at the sale of leasehold houses and onerous ground rents, working with property developers, the Competition and Markets Authority and others as outlined in the Housing White Paper.”  The Government also proposes streamlining the home buying process so it is cheaper, faster and less stressful as part of a wider green paper that will closely examine markets which are not working fairly for consumers.

The Speech also pledges to initiate a full public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower to ascertain the causes, and ensure that the appropriate lessons are learnt including “assessing the position on Building Regulations, recognising the need to take account of public inquiry interim findings and conclusions”.

Victoria Brauer, Policy Analyst