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Activists query why Tory housing fringe event excludes homebuyers and owners

Housing minister Lee Rowley is set to make one of his first official public appearances at a Conservative Party fringe event next week that focuses on increasing homeownership and housebuilding.

He will appear on a panel at the Tory Party Annual Conference organised by ConservativeHome on 2 October alongside representatives from NHBC, Barratt Developments and L&Q.

The title of the fringe event is “The Great Housing Debate: how do we increasing housebuilding and homeownership.”


Campaigners have queried why such an event only seems to be presenting the side of the developers.

The Tower Hamlets Justice for Leaseholders group said on Twitter: “Not one homeowner, buyer or speaker from consumer group is on the line-up. 

“All sector insiders including Barratt who were investigated by Competition and Markets Authority over leasehold mis-selling and heavily criticised NHBC.”

The main conference agenda also doesn't appear to feature main stage roles for Rowley or Housing Secretary Simon Clarke.

It comes after Rowley responded to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Mike Amesbury on leasehold reform this week that asked about the merits of “bringing forward legislative proposals to help tackle ground rents that are linked to inflation.”

In what was one of his first response as Housing Minister, Rowley said: “The Government has already legislated via the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 to protect future leaseholders and we are due to bring forward further leasehold reforms later in this Parliament.

“We understand the difficulties some existing leaseholders face with high and escalating ground rents. Unfair practices have no place in the housing market. This is why we asked the CMA to investigate potential mis-selling of homes and unfair terms in the leasehold sector.

“The CMA have secured commitments benefiting over 20,000 leaseholders, including commitments to return doubling ground rent terms to original rates. These settlements will help to free thousands more leaseholders from unreasonable ground rent increases. The CMA continue to engage with a number of firms and we urge other developers to follow suit.”

  • Matt Faizey

    Do you not think the real aim is for the discussion of what should replace H2B?

    This'll just be lobbying (hard) for more stimulus while ignoring planning reform.


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