The Socialist

The Socialist 3 January 2018

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty¬Ömake the fat cats pay

The Socialist issue 976

2018: more upheavals loom


Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

The Socialist inbox


Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Heart unit rescued by campaigning saves baby with pioneering surgery

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off £1bn


Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Housing victory for Sussex students

Leeds: temporary reprieve for playing fields

Bradford protest against children's service cuts

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference


Equal sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

Newham: school strike solid against academy

Fire service victory

Leeds college pay protests


Catalan elections: PP humiliated

 
 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/976/26642

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 3 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize the 60,000 empty homes

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo by Derek Harper/CC

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo by Derek Harper/CC   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens

Over 60,000 homes in England and Wales have been vacant for more than two years. At the same time, 9,100 people live in tents. And in London alone around 9,000 'beds in sheds' fill secret slums.

How much longer do we have to watch the market fail to sort this out? The properties are there! Just take them!

Even the Liberal Democrats, Britain's second-best Tory tribute act, think it's an idea. It's their research which turned up the empty digs through council Freedom of Information requests.

In five years, only 19 of those councils - less than 8% - say they've taken any of these places over.

They all have the power. After six months they can issue 'empty dwelling management orders' for them. 11,000 have been empty over a decade.

And so the desperate homeless found makeshift cities of tents. Their population is booming. The 9,100 people living there represent a 56% growth between 2011 and 2016, according to Crisis.

The homelessness charity projects 11,000 in tents by 2020. Why?

Rents are up, benefits down. Tenancies are insecure and so is employment. But even families in stable work are now at risk of homelessness, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Losing a tenancy is the growing cause: behind 31% of homelessness in England, says Crisis. It was at 11% when the Tories came to power.

'Beds in sheds'

And it's the Tories themselves who identified 6,000 hidden 'beds in sheds' across two-thirds of London's boroughs - the majority Labour. They estimate the total number to be 9,000.

But is their real concern for the poor people living in sheds? They couldn't resist linking it to lost council tax receipts, undocumented migration - and benefit fraud.

Of course, getting benefits at all is near impossible thanks to the Tories. Their 'universal credit' system is a disaster. The diminishing amount and extravagant lateness of payments mean four out of five landlords refuse to take claimants, says the National Landlords Association.

The Tories, Blairites and Liberals have made homelessness normal.

Nottingham is trialling a special vending machine for the homeless dispensing snack food and hygiene products. Keycards allow users three items a day.

Enough! Take those empty homes and put them to use. And build council houses now. Nationalise the land and construction companies - the market won't do it.

After Grenfell Jeremy Corbyn was right to call on the council to seize empty properties for survivors. That still needs to happen. But now he should make the call across the country.


In this issue


New Year statement

2018: more upheavals loom


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party news and analysis

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Heart unit rescued by campaigning saves baby with pioneering surgery

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off £1bn


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Housing victory for Sussex students

Leeds: temporary reprieve for playing fields

Bradford protest against children's service cuts

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference


Socialist Party workplace news

Equal sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

Newham: school strike solid against academy

Fire service victory

Leeds college pay protests


International socialist news and analysis

Catalan elections: PP humiliated


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook


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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999