Newham housing march. Photo: London SP
Newham housing march. Photo: London SP

Fight for council houses and rent control

Basil Holst, Socialist Students

If you don’t have mould, then you probably know someone who does.

Homes in disrepair have become the norm rather than the exception, it seems, and  landlords are letting properties fall apart around us, and simply giving it a lick of paint for the next tenant. I’ve personally watched our contractor try to push past my partner in our kitchen to try and wipe mould off our cupboard before a council inspection. I’ve uprooted myself and moved three times in a month.

Monopolising the housing market allows landlords to demand extortionate rents, and extortionate rent prices keep would-be homeowners from ever saving enough money to be approved for a mortgage. And so the cycle continues.

The average property price in the UK is now 8.5 times the average annual income, meaning it is effectively impossible for first-time buyers to get mortgage approval, and even then the interest rates reflect the price of the market. This won’t change on it’s own. When a minority of the population holds a greedy surplus of a crucial resource why would they willingly give it up?

We need council houses, rent controls and a party that actually fights for these things.

The Socialist Party has changed my perspective on my own situation. I’m not the one at fault, and I’m not the only one. As individuals we may be getting swept aside, ignored and sent through hours of phone queues, but the sum is greater than its constituent parts, and together we can build a movement. In London on 18 October, the Socialist Party is holding a public meeting where we will be sharing our experiences and discussing the change that’s needed. And we will be marching against the housing crisis on 28 October. We need socialist planning to provide homes for all!

  • London Socialist Party meeting at 7pm, 18 October, at The Abbey Conference and Community Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
  • March against the housing crisis at 12noon 28 October, starting at the Department for Levelling Up and marching to Trafalgar Square