07 Nov 2023

CIH's analysis and reaction to the King's Speech

Today, as part of the State Opening of Parliament, King Charles III set out the government’s plans for the year ahead in Westminster in his first King's Speech since becoming monarch.

The speech was fairly light on housing, however, the legislative agenda for the year ahead does include:

  • Legislation to strengthen rights for tenants through the Renters (Reform) Bill
  • Laws to reform the purchase of leaseholds through the Leasehold and Freehold Bill
  • A continued focus on anti-social behaviour (ASB)

Rachael Williamson, CIH's head of policy and external affairs shares her analysis on how the speech impacts the housing sector.

"CIH have been calling on government to reform the leasehold system, so we welcome the commitment to bring forward a Leasehold and Freehold Bill in the next parliamentary session. We do, however, remain concerned about whether the reforms will go far enough in delivering meaningful change. We continue to call for delivery of the recommendations set out by the Law Commission.

"Similarly, we are pleased to see commitment to progress the Renters Reform Bill following slow progress to date. CIH has long called for the ending of section 21 (‘no fault’) evictions, however the caveat in the Bill’s second reading, reinforced in the King’s speech, to not commence abolition until stronger possession grounds and a new court process is in place is potentially concerning in terms of timings. For the Bill to achieve its stated aims it is vital that the government introduces the further measures committed to in its white paper. We will continue to work with members, partners and government to look to strengthen certain aspects.

"Prior to the King’s Speech it was widely reported that the government was planning to introduce legislation which would criminalise the use of tents by people rough sleeping. It is positive to see that following robust challenge from the homelessness sector, which CIH was proud to be part of, these proposals were not included. Efforts must now be concentrated on evidence-based solutions that will positively impact on preventing homelessness, including unfreezing housing benefit in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

"Also absent from the speech, despite being widely trailed, was a commitment to bring forward legislation to overhaul nutrient pollution laws. This will be a welcome omission for many in the sector concerned about the negative impact of the government's relaxation plans."

For further information on our asks of government see our Housing Strategy and Autumn Statement submission

You can read today's King's Speech in full in the government background briefing notes.