Big Issue founder Lord John Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill – the plan to make rental payments a compulsory part of a credit score – will now progress to a Committee of the whole House after being given a second reading.
The private member’s bill was backed by several peers from across the political spectrum during the debate but government minister Lord Bates raised several opposing points, calling for a ‘market-based solution’ during the debate on Friday.
The Big Issue’s rental exchange scheme, run in collaboration with credit reference agency Experian, helps to build up a positive credit file for tenants based on this idea – and has already seen more than one million social housing tenants sign up to the initiative.
This will mean fairer access to more affordable credit, for things as simple – but as vital – as white goods, so borrowers won’t be forced towards rapacious lenders.
The Big Issue has proved that there are millions of people there who have been disenfranchised and that has been unhealthy for the market
The scheme has led to a move to help many more renters, not just those in social housing.
Speaking at the House of Lords, crossbench peer Lord Bird said: “If you do think about a market-based solution which is obviously something that the Conservative government would love to promote at the moment there is a bar on operating in the market in a healthy way.