The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, today gave a statement to the House on an update on housing in light of the Government’s coronavirus lockdown plan.

The Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick announced to the House today, a plan to reopen the housing market and to restart the construction industry.

Robert Jenrick MP: “we are lifting the temporary freeze on home moving.”

Mr Jenrick said: “When the essential stay at home message was announced, we changed the rules so that people could only move home if they thought it was reasonably necessary.” He mentioned that these rules will now be changing as we move into the next phase of the Government’s covid response, “…and embark on our path to reopen, to restart and to renew the economy, we recognise the need to let people get back to living their lives.”

The Secretary of State said:

“With immediate effect we are lifting the temporary freeze on home moving, meaning that so long as they are not shielding or self-isolating, anyone can move, any time and for any reason.”

Speaking about the housing industry, Mr Jenrick said that “each of the building blocks of the buying and the selling process are now back in business as long as they can be done safely.

Outlining the Government’s plans, Mr Jenrick told the House that estate agents offices are now able to reopen, as well as removal companies. He said that Surveyors, Conveyancers, and Valuers can go back to work, and that show homes on sights can reopen.

The Minister added that as these businesses reopen, they will need to adapt to new ways of working, including virtual viewings when possible, and cleaning thoroughly after viewings and when moving house. He added that detailed guidance informed by Public Health advice has been published.

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Thangham Debbonaire, asked the Secretary of State to consider the Opposition’s calls such as unanswered questions on housing which need urgent government attention to keep people safe at work and at home.

Thangham Debbonaire MP: “What protection will there be for people renting?”

The Shadow Secretary asked Mr Jenrick: “What protection will there be for people renting if a landlord or estate agent wants to show a prospective buyer or new tenant around?”

Ms Debbonaire questioned the Secretary of State on what discussions the Government has had with trade unions, and what advice they would have for anyone who feels that their workplace and construction site is not safe? She added that there is no plan for what happens when the temporary ban on evictions end, or what will happen to those who are homeless.

The Shadow Secretary asked the Secretary of State to ensure that councils are fully recompensed for housing and other costs of the covid-19 crisis, and also asked that he work with the treasury, housing associations, and local authorities, and the building industry to invest in high quality and affordable social housing.

To read the original article click the link here