Briefing: Queen's Speech debate on affordable and safe housing for all

By: Reshima Sharma
Published: May 2021

Briefing: Queen's Speech debate on affordable and safe housing for all

The 2021 Queen’s Speech was a major opportunity for the government to detail its plans to tackle the housing emergency as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. While there were promising commitments on renters’ rights with the government recommitting to the Renters’ Reform Bill, there was unfortunately little detail on how its planning system reforms will deliver social housing on the scale we desperately need.

In order to end the housing emergency, and lift millions out of bad housing and homelessness, the government must:

1.    Invest in social housing and ensure that reforms introduced to the planning system deliver much more social rented housing than the current system. The government must back this up with the investment needed to scale up delivery of social housing across the country.

2.    Give security to private renters, by delivering the Renters’ Reform Bill and finally putting an end to Section 21 “no fault” evictions. Shelter welcomed the government’s recommitment to this in the Queen’s Speech, but the government must also take immediate action to support renters that have fallen into arrears during the pandemic.

3.    Improve standards in social rented housing, by bringing forward long overdue reforms to the regulation of social housing with dedicated legislation. The government must fulfil its promise to implement last year’s Social Housing White Paper, by bringing forward a Social Housing Bill within this parliamentary session.