Today Lucy visited Canada Street for the first time since veterans and their families moved into their new homes. The street in Newton Heath was transformed last year by DIY SOS, as part of a huge renovation project to create new homes for veterans, and Lucy visited the site in September while the work was underway.
The project was supported by Manchester City Council, Haig Housing and veterans’ charity, Walking with the Wounded, and today Lucy was able to see the completed homes and meet with the families who’ve moved into them.Read more
On Friday, Lucy visited Canada Street in Newton Heath, to meet the DIY SOS team who are transforming empty houses into new homes for veterans' and their families.
Hundreds of Manchester building firms and tradesmen have been helping out with the project, which is supported by veterans' charity, Walking With The Wounded. Gorton Horticultural Society have also helped to create new gardens and are setting up street-planters along Canada Street.
Lucy has welcomed Ed Miliband’s announcement that the next Labour government will introduce sweeping reforms of the private rented housing sector, to help millions of households hit by the cost of renting.
Since she was elected Lucy has been campaigning for a fairer deal for tenants, after figures revealed that the average cost of renting in Manchester has gone up by £369 since 2010.
Labour’s plans include making three year tenancies the standard in the private rented sector, preventing landlords from making excessive rent increases and banning letting agents fees. These measures will give tenants greater security and save them up to £500 when they move properties.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith is cherry picking figures about Manchester City Council’s housing budgets.
On Monday in the House of Commons Lucy raised the potential crisis in Manchester’s discretionary housing funding. These emergency payments are used by the council to ensure vulnerable people can stay in their homes, by helping with rents, or as part of a rental deposit when people move.
Since the Government introduced the bedroom tax last year there has been a huge increase in demand on these funds. Many people found themselves with higher rents than they could afford and needed help. As a result the council is now predicting that they will run out of discretionary funding next month.
Lucy recently visited the much-needed redevelopment of the Ancoats towers in central Manchester.
The operation, a joint venture between Manchester Council, Ancoats Residential Holdings and Rowlinsons Construction Ltd will see a complete regeneration of the three residential tower blocks which have long stood empty.
I’m very happy to sponsor John Healey’s new 10 Minute Rule Bill in Parliament today to tackle the failings in the letting agents market. I’ve spoken before about the critical importance of getting a better deal for tenants and landlords from lettings agents. This is a big issue for local people across Manchester Central. There are large numbers of people living in the private rented sector. There are many shocking cases of bad practice by letting and managing agents in Manchester Central that can only be described as unscrupulous and murky, and that have left many residents significantly out of pocket and with little protection.
New research by Shelter shows that the number of families renting their homes has doubled over the last ten years. Given the importance of housing to family stability and children’s futures it is time for action from Government.
Lucy Powell MP pleased that Government have woken up to the “obvious reality” that Manchester tenants should be guaranteed the chance for redress over poor letting agents
Lucy welcomed the news that the Government have finally listened to Labour’s calls for tenants and landlords to have mandatory access to complain to the Ombudsman when they are let down by letting agents.
Lucy has been campaigning for drastic changes to the private rented sector and specifically to regulation of letting agents and managing agents. She spoke in two Parliamentary debates on the issue and used a recent private sector housing debate called by Labour to highlight the plight of many of her constituents and urge the Government to take action.
Labour have led the way on calling for regulation of managing and letting agents and for reform of the wider private housing sector which too often sees individual tenants unable to guarantee even a minimum standard of service from agents.
Lucy has been raising issues in Parliament concerning regulation of letting and managing agents in the private rented sector. She was very pleased to discuss this because of the urgent need to address bad practice and unscrupulous managing agents, who have been allowed free rein due to the Leasehold and Valuations Tribunal's (LVT) lack of teeth. Many constituents for Manchester Central have reported their past experiences of these problems to Lucy.
As a result, after coming under pressure to act, the Government have at last listened and come round to the obvious reality that tenants should be guaranteed access to redress through an Ombudsman, an independent service which would address contention between tenants, landlords and agents. This will make it easier for landlords and tenants to pursue complaints, identify malpractising agents and for a resolution to be made locally, therefore bringing up standards of practice in the sector as a whole.
Lucy has frequently raised the lack of regulation of letting and managing agents in Parliament because of the urgent need to address bad practice and unscrupulous managing agents. Many of her constituents have contacted her about their experiences of these problems, and she has called on the Government to ensure that their complaints will not be put aside in the future.
Earlier this year, after coming under pressure to act, the Government at last listened and came round to the obvious reality that tenants should be guaranteed access to redress through an Ombudsman, an independent service which would address contention between tenants, landlords and agents.
Lucy was pleased to visit The Limes homeless shelter. The Limes is part of the nationwide charity Chapter 1 and provides support and accommodation to 26 young men. People at The Limes usually stay for a period of two years and the work done by the manager Pauline Gaye and her staff has helped to provide a temporary residence for those who are often scattered around the city.
Lucy met with the staff to discuss issues they have had with benefit sanctions being placed on some of the people they work with. Their residents are finding it hard to attend appointments at the same centre every week and are not able to contribute as much to The Limes anymore because of their reduced benefits.