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CONFERENCE: Tories prioritise housing, but no mention of landlords

The Conservatives have put housing high on the agenda at their upcoming party conference, with at least 30 fringe meetings scheduled to discuss the topic.

However, landlords barely get a mention in the programme for the annual four-day meet in Manchester, posing the question: is Michael Gove really listening to the PRS?

The Housing Secretary does at least have one key date with the sector, when he’s due to appear at Shelter’s reception, ‘A manifesto to fix the housing emergency’.

This event invites delegates to ponder the problem of supplying universally safe and affordable housing and explains: “Looking towards the next general election, join Shelter’s housing reception to hear about the policies that the Conservative Party must adopt to fix the housing emergency in the national interest.”

Apart from his keynote speech, Gove only appears to be discussing housing at one conference event, but colleague Rachel Maclean is booked into at least a dozen panels on the subject.

Most of these fringe events will look at the housing crisis, while the Housing Minister will also be tasked – along with the NRLA’s chief executive Ben Beadle– to debate ‘Going private: reforming the UK’s rental market’ and whether the upcoming Renters Reform Bill will be enough to “ensure everyone gets a fair deal”.

Perhaps most tellingly, Maclean is also discussing ‘Will the housing crisis determine the next election?’ at one meeting, while landlords will hope another fringe event produces some much-needed answers to the question of evictions post Section 21; it promises to host anti-social behaviour experts, ministers and MPs who’ll be discussing ASB and the possibility of introducing problem-solving housing courts.


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