Andy Burnham, a shadow Home Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet until recently, and a former health minister under Gordon Brown, wants to buy-out private landlords and set up a rent-to-own scheme, if he is successful in his bid to become mayor of Greater Manchester.
Mr Burnham the Labour hopeful also wants more licensing and rent controls as well as his “landlord buy-outs”.
Confirmed as Labour’s candidate for the Greater Manchester mayoral election recently, Mr Burnham would be in office in 2017 with responsibility for a £300m housing budget, part of a major devolution package for the region.
As favourite to win the election, Burnham has pledged to “bring forward real answers to our housing crisis”, and the current local MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester, wants to use the mayor’s housing fund to: “buy out the absent private landlords who have barely ever been to Greater Manchester”, and use these properties for “public housing stock”.
In addition Burnham has pledged to “set up a Greater Manchester rent-to-own scheme to build the new homes we need and get our young people on the housing ladder”.
“We can also set ourselves apart on our approach to housing. Our goal should be an affordable home for everyone – to rent or to own – and an end to the homelessness that blights our city region,” Burnham has said.
Inside Housing has reported that the Greater Manchester combined authority is considering directly building homes for the first time in years, in response to the EU referendum vote in June. In an article in the social housing sector publication Burnham says:
“The scourge of absent, private landlords bedevils much of Greater Manchester – particularly the older mill towns across its northern arc. Many never visit our area and don’t care about the state of the properties they rent out. They only care about the rent cheques they keep raking in”
He blames the Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher for its housing policies which he says have led to the current housing crisis.
He wants to create a “Community Buy-Back Fund” to providing loan finance to councils to buy out private landlords who fail to maintain properties to the Decent Homes Standard.
This policy, he thinks will “rapidly increase the size of the public sector housing stock” and will reduce rents to an affordable level, as well as cutting the housing benefit bill. He is keen to establish a licensing scheme for private landlords across Greater Manchester and, in the long term, “seek powers to regulate rent increases and property standards”.
Manchester mayoral candidate wants “landlord buyouts” https://t.co/ht4p40McRa
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) August 24, 2016