Housing you can afford

British law, tax rules and government policy has for too long been slanted for the benefit of private landlords at the expense of people who simply need a place to live.

Natalie campaigns for smart rent controls and a living rent commission to make renting a home affordable. She backs a register of landlords to improve housing standards and make five-year tenancies standard.

She has been working with the fast-growing Renters Rising group here in Sheffield to help tenants band together to protect and enhance their rights. The group has already won one big victory against Santander bank, which agreed to remove a forced rent rise clause from buy-to-let mortgages.

She promotes alternative forms of housing provision, such as co-operatives and community land trusts, and innovative housebuilding proposals, such as the Sheffield-based REACH.

Britain has a huge problem with fuel poverty not because our energy is particularly expensive, but because we have a poor quality of housing stock. Government investment in insulation and other energy efficiency measures, as part of support for our national infrastructure, could not only slash fuel poverty, but create tens of thousands of jobs and many small business opportunities, and cut our carbon emissions.

Our modern housing problems started when council house building slowed and stopped. Relying on the market to supply homes has failed. We need to return to building council homes.

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