At PMQs, Angela Rayner confronts Oliver Dowden on the housing crisis.

Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, spoke in place of Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions and took the opportunity to criticize the government’s housing policies.

Renters’ safety, she added, had been “ripped away,” while homeowners were “sick with worry” about their debts.

Ms. Rayner has also questioned when the government will take action to outlaw no-fault evictions by Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden.

Mr. Dowden assured lawmakers that the government supported homeowners and renters alike.

He also mentioned that new laws had been enacted to protect renters.

In May, lawmakers introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill, although it has not yet been discussed in committee.

As part of a long-promised revamp of the private rental system in England, the law would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without cause.

Ms. Rayner and Mr. Dowden represented their parties while their leaders, Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, were at Westminster Abbey for an event honoring the National Health Service.

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5-year fixed mortgage rates above 6% on average.
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Since families are “sick with worry about the cost of the Tory mortgage bombshell,” Ms. Rayner opened her line of questioning by wondering if the Conservatives could still call themselves the “party of homeownership.”

The average interest rate on a fixed mortgage for the next five years is already above 6%, which is a significant increase from the same time last year and will result in higher monthly payments for homeowners who need to refinance.

In an effort to slow inflation, the Bank of England has been gradually increasing interest rates.

Mr. Dowden stated his support for the bank’s initiatives and cited an IMF report that stated the United Kingdom was taking “decisive and responsible action” to reduce inflation.

In contrast, he warned that Labour’s “endless borrowing” would lead to price increases.

Ms. Rayner predicted that tenants will bear the brunt of the increased mortgage payments made by their landlords.

Noting that 2023 saw a 116% increase in no-fault evictions, she pressed the government to “finally deliver” on its 2019 manifesto vow to outlaw such practices.

“The chancellor will take all necessary measures to stand behind both mortgage holders and of course take necessary measures for renters,” Mr. Dowden answered.

Helen Hayes, a Labour MP, brought up the housing situation of a constituent who had committed suicide in May; he was a first-year college student.

His parents were listed as guarantors on his private sector lease, but the agreement stated that their obligations would remain in place even if he were to pass away.

Ms. Hayes requested that this practice be made illegal under the Renters Reform Bill in order to safeguard the well-being of grieving families.

The deputy prime minister called the situation “totally abhorrent” and promised to consider solutions.

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