Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/719/14555
The housing crisis - action needed now
A chronic shortage of affordable housing is leading to 'social cleansing' in many areas of London. However, the failure of the government's housing policy is being challenged by a new campaign initiated by Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ), backed by trade unionists, which lobbied the newly elected Greater London Assembly members and delivered the following letter.
Dear GLA member,
Young Londoners - Forced Out? is a campaign launched to take up the housing crisis faced by young people in London backed by the Unite Housing Workers branch and PCS London. We are campaigning in universities and workplaces across London against the unsustainable housing situation.
We are asking if you will stand up against the soaring rents and low pay that mean many young low-paid and unemployed Londoners will be forced out of the capital, and commit to supporting our ongoing campaign and backing our Five Point Programme:
- Rents - Cap rents at an affordable level with councils to check on it. No eviction of people that fall into arrears - for the council to step in. For council-run lettings agencies.
- Olympics - Stop landlords forcing people out of their homes. After the Olympics the housing built should be turned into genuinely affordable council housing and the infrastructure should be used to benefit all including the low-paid and young.
- Pay and Jobs - A living minimum wage for all - no lower youth rates. All housing and housing benefit cuts should be reversed. No age discrimination in benefit entitlement - young people don't have lower rent and bills so we shouldn't have lower benefits!
- Building - Invest in a mass programme of building high quality council housing to create jobs and alleviate the housing crisis. Reopen and renovate empty properties into affordable accommodation.
- How we could pay for it - Immediately stop the sell-off of council housing.
Councils should offer to bring 'Right to Buy' properties that people can no longer afford back in-house offering affordable rents. Banks must turn mortgages into affordable rents and offer cheap, no or low interest mortgages.
If the banks refuse they should be fully nationalised with their resources used to meet social need.
Suzanne Beishon, Organiser, Young Londoners - Forced Out?
For more information on our campaign see www.londonersforcedout.com or to get in touch contact email@example.com or 07716610893
In The Socialist 23 May 2012:
Fighting the cuts
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