New shadow housing minister Lucy Powell – who has called for tougher PRS regulations – is a landlord herself.
The MP for Manchester Central is in favour of secure tenancies for life and creating more regulation for HMOs but should have a good understanding of the sector’s challenges as she rents out a room in her London flat.
She is also a shareholder and director of New Road Management which owns the freehold of six flats in Camberwell, where she lives.
Powell, an MP since 2012, replaced Thangam Debbonaire following Keir Starmer’s post-election reshuffle, and has been vocal in parliament about PRS shortcomings during the last decade.
In the debate on the Housing White Paper in 2017 she said: “By far and away the worst-quality housing in Manchester is in the private rented sector.
“It is unfit for human habitation, infested, damp and dirty, and it is being paid for, by and large, by the taxpayer through housing benefit. When will the Government intervene in that broken market?”
In the past she’s called for a licensing scheme in the city and believes Airbnb and similar short let platforms are creating a serious problem in central Manchester, damaging neighbours’ lifestyle and neighbourhoods.
She’s endorsed the Labour policy of further relaxing the planning rules on building new homes and recently backed a rent to buy development in Openshaw where the rent is significantly reduced to allow tenants to save up to get a deposit to buy part or all of the house over five years.
Powell has regularly spoken out to get the government to support leaseholders in her constituency who are trapped in Grenfell-style flats.