Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/933/24309
Wales council votes to buy back homes
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
Flintshire county council in North Wales has decided to buy back 55 council houses sold since 2005 when they become available on the market.
It is also building 200 council houses over the next five years.
Swansea council has also agreed to build a few new council houses. And the Welsh government is considering the abolition of the 'right to buy' scheme for council housing.
These are welcome measures, but they hardly scratch the surface of the housing crisis that has developed in Wales.
A socialist council would use the current low interest rates to fund mass council house building and demand greater funding for housing from the Welsh government.
Abolishing the right to buy must be accompanied by a house building programme.
Welsh Labour has been forced by public pressure to reform housing legislation in Wales to make private landlords register as such.
But the registration is not backed up by enforcement of safeguards or tenants' rights. In fact, the act actually removed tenancy protection in the first six months of tenancy.
Tackling the housing crisis in Wales and across Britain will mean candidates standing on a programme of reversing the privatisation of housing stock. For real regulation of landlords, capping rents instead of benefits, and fighting central government for funding to reverse cuts.
In The Socialist 25 January 2017:
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