Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 June 2011

Housing crisis

Con-Dems are presiding over a growing social catastrophe

Paul Kershaw

The latest government figures show that the number of people approaching their council as homeless is 23% higher than at the same time last year, while the proportion being accepted as homeless and helped with their housing actually fell by 2%.

These figures point to a growing social catastrophe over the next few years as the impact of planned benefit cuts will come on top of the pain of recession.

The government's 'Localism' bill will weaken the rights of homeless people further, allowing councils to push homeless families into privately rented accommodation rather than social housing. This will lock them into insecure, poor quality housing. Changes will also allow councils to alter the way they count the homeless so they can hide the problem by redefining homelessness.

For each person homeless there are many more living in impossible conditions with their lives dominated by the fear of losing their home. A new survey commissioned from YouGov by the housing charity Shelter shows a jump in the number of people suffering stress and depression of seven million people since its last survey in 2009. The average rent rose by 0.5% to 696 (996 a month in London) in May, the fourth successive month of growth, according to the latest index from LSL Property Services. That brings rents to a new record high.

No relief from rising rents is in sight. A report from Rightmove has forecast a 10% rent rise over the next year. Rising rents have forced record numbers of young couples to share flats rather than get a place of their own. Over the past year alone the number of couples looking to share a flat with other tenants has soared by 81%, according to research by the website.

Trade unions and housing campaigners need to give expression to the growing frustration and misery behind these figures. Repossessions (up 15% in the first quarter of the year) and evictions are a result of the impact of rising prices and rents along with stagnant wages.

But as the housing benefit cuts bite over the next few years things will get much worse for groups such as the unemployed, the disabled and pensioners. It is vital that the trade unions campaign energetically on the questions of low pay and housing.

It is a scandal that the minimum wage is to be increased by less than the government measure of inflation, which itself is an underestimate of inflation experienced by the poor and low paid.

Private rents must be capped as an emergency measure. The Tory/Liberal response to rising rents of cutting benefits is a scandal in this situation and their plans must be reversed immediately. Labour also had plans to cap benefits and now just criticises the government for moving too fast.

But even before the housing benefit cuts bite, and without a mass campaign of explanation, a recent poll shows that 65% of people believe that housing benefit should stay at current levels or be increased (Inside Housing, 17 June).

The underlying issue remains a shortage of decent housing. House building is at its lowest peace time level since just after World War One and the government plans a 63% cut in funding for social house building with future homes to be at near market rents.

The banks should be fully nationalised and made to give low interest loans for a massive programme of house building and repair.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 22 June 2011:

Socialist Party feature

As the cuts bite, millions ask: 'Does it have to be like this?'

Building for 30th June

Con-Dems' pension attack - brutal class warfare must be fought

POA to hold protest meetings

Busting the public sector pensions myths!

Staffordshire NSSN builds support for 30 June action

Hillingdon workers back the pensions strike

Socialist Party workplace news

Strike action to defend Royal Mail jobs

Leeds Unison urges members to reject council's final offer

Coleg Morgannwg: Victory over victimisation

Barnsley lecturers fight job cuts

Unison conferences discuss action on pensions

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing crisis

Con-Dems still plan to destroy NHS - Save our health service!

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Greece's debt crisis threatens worldwide banking system

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Finsbury Park - No to A4e cheap labour schemes

Southern Cross bosses demand huge cuts in pay and conditions

Reviews and comments

Sri Lanka's killing fields

Readers' comment: apprentice sexists

Fighting the cuts

Southampton: strikes set to continue

200 workers challenge Labour council cuts

Labour MP fails to answer questions on cuts


Comprehensive education under attack

Keep Tidemill in public hands

Spreading to primaries?


Home   |   The Socialist 22 June 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleEast London summit fails to address housing crisis

triangleProtest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans


triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

triangleGrenfell fire compounded by overcrowding: build more council homes now

triangleJustice for Grenfell and safety for all

Housing benefit:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleYoung people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies

triangleOne in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained



Tories torn - bin them now


What we saw

What we saw



Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy



Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!



Young people being strangled by debts



The end of the Tories?



Nasty party out the Tories


Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity



Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right


Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty


Them & Us

Them & Us



NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts



IMF helps cause inequality it slams



Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice