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Labour plans major housing reforms with no-fault evictions ban

Chancellor Rachel Reeves has announced Labour’s comprehensive housing reform plans, which include banning Section 21 evictions, easing rules on green belt development, and setting new housing targets for local authorities.

Major Overhaul in Housing Policies
In a significant speech at HM Treasury addressed to business leaders and investors, Reeves emphasised Labour’s commitment to driving economic growth, stating that “growth was now our national mission” and that there was “no time to lose”. She outlined key aspects of Labour’s housing strategy, including reviewing green belt boundaries while prioritising brownfield and ‘greybelt’ sites to meet housing demands.

“Our golden rules will ensure that the development this frees up will allow us to deliver thousands of affordable homes, including more for social rent,” she said.

Reeves also highlighted the importance of protecting tenants in the private rented sector, announcing plans to ban Section 21 evictions. “For those in the private rented sector, we will finally get rid of ‘no fault’ evictions to help those not fortunate enough to either own their own home or have access to social housing,” she stated.

Planning Reforms and New Targets
The Labour government will reform the National Planning Policy Framework and consult on a new growth-focused approach to planning. This includes re-imposing mandatory housing targets for local authorities, a move that has faced resistance from rural and suburban Tory MPs in the past. Previous attempts by Conservative governments, including those under Boris Johnson, to enforce these targets were ultimately diluted or abandoned.

Reeves acknowledged the challenges ahead, but underscored the necessity of these reforms to meet the country’s housing needs.

Taskforce for Stalled Housing Projects
Reeves also announced the creation of a new taskforce aimed at accelerating stalled housing projects. “We will create a new taskforce to accelerate stalled housing sites in our country – beginning with Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester Parkway, Northstowe, and Langley Sutton Coldfield, which together represent more than 14,000 homes,” she revealed.

To support these initiatives, Labour will provide local authorities with an additional 300 planning officers nationwide.

Implications for the Future
These bold reforms signal Labour’s commitment to addressing the housing crisis with urgency and determination. The proposed changes to planning regulations, combined with efforts to increase affordable housing and protect renters, aim to create a more balanced and accessible housing market.

For landlords and tenants, these developments could herald significant changes. The ban on Section 21 evictions promises greater security for renters, while new housing targets and planning reforms could stimulate development and potentially stabilise housing prices.

As Labour moves forward with these ambitious plans, stakeholders across the housing sector will need to adapt to the new policies and their implications. The focus on sustainable growth and community-centric development will be crucial in shaping the future of housing in the UK.