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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 May 2017

One in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo James Ivens

Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

One in three people have borrowed money just to pay the rent - some from family and friends; others with interest and fee-charging overdrafts, credit cards and payday loans.

The figures from housing charity Shelter reveal that of nearly 1.6 million private tenants on low incomes, around 511,000 had borrowed for rent during the past year.

And phenomena like this are not only applicable to London.

A recent Radio 4 PM programme followed the plight of two young Liverpudlians as they struggled to find a place to set up home and start their life together. It found a pattern of financiers, billionaires and oligarchs snapping up new builds and empty properties for investment, while young couples struggle to find a home they can afford.

The super-rich see Britain's inflated property market as a safe store for funds. On top of this, the head of the National Crime Agency believes organised criminals use the London property market to launder money.

Hoarding and speculation

This hoarding of empty homes by the bosses - whether gangster or legit - is coupled with decades of council house sell-offs and the abolition of rent control. The knock-on is shortage and speculation on such a scale that housing costs now bear no resemblance to reality.

But while we live through housing horror stories, we have also watched the publication of Jeremy Corbyn's election manifesto. It goes some way in attempting to right the housing wrongs of the past. Compared to what exists now, it could represent the start of a housing revolution.

Labour's manifesto includes the following promises:

The Socialist Party supports these first steps in trying to take charge of housing policy and plan it for human need. We will be out campaigning for this programme to win - and for Corbyn to push it further.

For a start, we call for nationalising land, the finance sector and the big construction firms - under democratic working class control and with compensation only on the basis of proven need. This is necessary to free up the money supply and end property speculation.

We will wholeheartedly campaign for a Corbyn-led government. But if the worst happens on 9 June, we have no intention of rolling over and allowing a whole generation to be locked out.

As the Butterfields tenants and then the One Housing tenants have shown in east London, when tenants organise and fight, we can beat the landlords.

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In The Socialist 17 May 2017:


Kick out the Tories! Corbyn can win

Kick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

Tories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

Corbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

TUSC confirms no candidates in June

Suprise rally with Jeremy Corbyn in Morley

Corbyn's alternative for young people

Corbyn could re-win Scotland with a socialist approach to independence


Socialist Party news and analysis

One in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

Tories escape election fraud charges

NHS cyberattack: budget cuts and spy agency to blame

31,000 more kids at risk of abuse or neglect


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS election: Increased majority for Democracy Alliance

Support Corbyn's call to renationalise Royal Mail

CWU walkout wins large concessions

Blackpool deserves better - anti-austerity rally

Unison must back Corbyn's pledge to abolish zero-hour contracts with action

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist ideas are energising young people

Fund the fight against the Tories

Packed meeting sets out socialist policies needed to defeat the Tories


International socialist news and analysis

Palestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike protest

Brazil: General strike against Temer regime


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Barcelona May Days 1937 - a civil war within a civil war

Hull workers who fought in the Spanish Civil War

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Housing:

triangleGentrification, class and race in Brixton film

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Social Housing

triangleManchester: housing maintenance workers plan strikes every week

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Revolution:

triangleBarcelona May Days 1937 - a civil war within a civil war

triangleRare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: What does the Russian revolution mean today?

Tenants:

triangleOne Housing tenants force housing association back

triangleHousing association workers' and tenants' alternative awards ceremony

triangleEast London tenants fight 40% rent hike

Homes:

triangleCorbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

London:

triangleBook launch meeting: showing the Socialist Party's active participation in events past and present

Council:

triangleNewcastle: fresh faces and the fight in Labour

Construction:

triangle200,000 empty homes - 250,000 homeless - end property speculation

Manifesto:

triangleThe media, May and the general election

Rents:

triangleThousands left with 50p for rent - cap rents, not benefits

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleBritain's election and the coming battle for Labour

Housing benefit:

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

Butterfields:

triangleRents up 40% - can't pay, will stay!

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