Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party

spotAnti-capitalism

spotAnti-privatisation

spotAnti-war

spotElection campaigns

spotEnvironment

spotHealth

spotSocialist women

spotWorkplace

spotYouth and Students

All keywords


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

Anti-fascist keywords:

Anti-fascist (33)

BNP (227)

EDL (107)

English Defence League (65)

Far right (112)

Far-right (131)

Fascism (61)

Fascist (71)

Fascists (57)

Nazis (23)

Right-wing (60)

Welsh Defence League (3)


Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1235)

Anti-fascist (561)

Anti-racism (701)

Anti-war (1487)

Asylum (209)

Black and Asian (391)

Children (372)

CNWP (108)

Corporate crime (2)

Disability (200)

Education (3889)

Election campaigns (2440)

Environment (603)

EU (449)

Finance (99)

Food (270)

Health and safety (33)

Health and welfare (311)

Housing (1025)

Human Rights (379)

LGBT Pride (141)

Local government (2169)

Local services (3643)

Low pay (506)

Migration (56)

Nationalisation (145)

New workers party (467)

NHS (1832)

Pensions (700)

Post Office (222)

Poverty (571)

Privatisation (1014)

Public Services (1125)

Socialism (867)

Socialist (43)

Sport (195)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (89)

Students (1813)

The state (1366)

Transport (547)

TUSC (997)

Welfare rights (710)

Women (758)

Workplace and TU campaigns (8233)

Youth (1957)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 966, 11 October 2017: Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Search site for keywords: Housing - Labour - Council - Homes - Workers - Haringey - Rents - Right-wing - London - Labour Party - Austerity - Debt - Banks - Government - Occupation - Privatisation - North London - Tory party - Super-rich - Theresa May - Tottenham - Anti-austerity - General election - Benefits - Households - Interest rates - Mortgages - Jeremy Corbyn - Evictions

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

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Kershaw, chair, Unite LE1111 housing workers branch

A standing ovation greeted Jeremy Corbin's pledges on housing at Labour's conference: to stop 'social cleansing' regeneration schemes and give residents a vote on regeneration proposals; to build more council homes and to control rents.

That response was echoed outside the conference. In the past Labour had little to offer on housing for workers and young people; the idea that Labour could really change things has been electrifying.

But Labour is still two parties in one and right-wing Labour councils are pressing ahead with destructive and unpopular regeneration schemes. The Labour council in Haringey, north London, responded to the housing resolution from Tottenham Labour Party - in its own area and adopted by conference with no opposition - by rejecting it outright!

It argued that balloting people affected 'oversimplified' the issues. Labour's leadership must ensure that democratic decisions are carried out and the threat to homes across Haringey is lifted (see 'Hundreds march against Labour council's development plan'). It would be a scandal if the pro-austerity Liberal Democrats, who have opportunistically opposed the Haringey regeneration plan, were to make electoral gains because of the Blairite-led council.

Jeremy did not give details of plans for rent controls but the very idea of intervening produced howls of anguish from the establishment, unfortunately including the housing charity Shelter.

It is argued that making rents truly affordable would cause landlords to sell up, thereby reducing the supply of rental properties. But with evictions rising and housing insecurity blighting the lives of a generation, real rent control is a vital emergency measure that would attract huge support. It's estimated for example, that 25% of households of private renters in London spend more than half of their income on rent!

Clearly, since private landlords are unable to meet the need for secure and genuinely affordable homes we need a massive programme of building secure, good-quality, council homes.

Jeremy raised the need for rent controls when campaigning for the Labour Party leadership but the idea was watered down in the party manifesto by Labour's right wing to merely restricting the rate of rent increase landlords could impose. Jeremy is right to raise it again, but now we need clarity.

Until recently housing association bosses and senior Tories suggested that social housing led to a dependency culture and were moving to wipe out social housing. Funding for social housing has virtually ceased and what funding remains for housing goes to 'affordable', ie largely unaffordable, home ownership.

Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn's message has been blunted by the right-wing housing shadow minister John Healey, who set a priority of promoting home ownership when he took up his position. He commissioned a report from the boss of the private house builder Taylor Wimpey who came up with the conclusion that no fundamental policy change was needed!

Tories

In her disastrous Tory Party conference speech Theresa May felt she had to make a gesture of support for social housing because of the wave of support for anti-austerity policies - reflected in Labour's electoral surge in the general election. She pledged 2 billion extra spending toward a "new generation of council houses". However, it was revealed that this meant building as few as 5,000 council homes.

This is a trivial amount given the scale of the housing problem and its significance can be gauged by the fact that the government has also committed to an extra 10 billion support for house purchases.

The balance was actually tilted further away from council housing. Spending on supporting house purchase schemes - 'help-to-buy' - simply pushes up prices rather than helping people into owner-occupation; good for private house builders and banks, not for workers.

While the Bank of England is starting to panic about levels of rising personal debt, particularly as it plans to raise interest rates, government policies only draw more people into greater debt by getting them to take on ever larger mortgages.

Clearly, the need for a comprehensive socialist housing programme has never been greater.

The Socialist says:

  • Rent control now! Democratic rent councils to decide fair levels in each area
  • A mass programme of council house building and renovation to meet demand
  • Hands off our homes! End the privatisation of social housing. Stop 'social cleansing' redevelopment schemes
  • Housing benefits that reflect the real cost of renting
  • Councils should compulsory purchase long-term empty properties and use them as council housing
  • Nationalise the banks and biggest corporations. For a democratic socialist society that puts the needs of the majority, including decent, genuinely affordable housing, before the profits of the super-rich





Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Housing:

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

triangleStrike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangleHousing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

triangleAnger over plan to build housing on Yorkshire flood plain

Labour:

triangleSocialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleSheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

triangleWestminster sexual harassment scandal

Council:

triangleUSA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangleIs cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

triangleUS: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Homes:

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

triangleFearful Tories mull borrowing to build

Workers:

triangleVirgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

Haringey:

triangleHundreds march against Labour council's development plan

Rents:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Right-wing:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

Labour Party:

triangleSocialism 2017: ideas to change the world

Austerity:

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

Debt:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

Banks:

triangleThem & Us

Government:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Occupation:

triangleStudent occupation at Chelsea College of Arts

Privatisation:

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

North London:

triangleNew play celebrates Grunwick strike

Tory party:

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Super-rich:

triangle'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us

Theresa May:

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Tottenham:

triangleProtest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Anti-austerity:

triangleAngry east London residents organise against threat to leisure centre

General election:

triangleWe can win the vote at 16!

Benefits:

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

Households:

triangleCarlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

Interest rates:

triangleDefuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!

Mortgages:

triangleOver a million families in 'extreme problem debt'

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleFilm - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

Evictions:

triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories