Evicted with two kids and determined to fight for socialist change

We need council homes now!

Alex Sampson, Plymouth Socialist Party

As I write this, I am surrounded by boxes, my family is scrambling to pack up all of our belongings ready to go into storage. Three weeks ago, completely without warning, we were presented with a Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction notice, from the house we have lived in for six-and-a-half years, the only home my daughter has known.

This is deeply upsetting, especially for my children, who will now be separated from the community and friends they have grown up with. It is also extremely problematic on a practical level!

Although our household income is above the national average, we have, like most other working-class households in this country, been squeezed drastically by the cost-of-living crisis. We have no savings, and no way of putting down a rental deposit prior to our current one being returned.

Also, thanks to austerity measures over the last decade, our household salary has only increased by about 5% in cash terms in the last seven years – mostly thanks to a large pay rise this year forced out of the bosses by the threat of strike action.

Over the same seven-year period, the cost of renting a comparable house in the area we currently live in has increased by 60-80%. We do not have the ability to meet the outlay needed to rent a new house. Therefore, next month, my family will find itself technically homeless. Our only real option is to move into my mother-in-law’s two bedroom flat with her.

Our situation is not isolated, and not uncommon. As of July 2023, 68,070 families with children in England were living in temporary accommodation – 7,510 of which were living in hotels or B&B’s. A further 8.6 million households are renters (4.6 million in private rentals, 4 million in social housing) which is also, by the very nature of rolling rental agreements and ‘no-fault’ evictions, insecure.


This very insecurity is a stressful and exhausting way to live; never knowing how long your home will remain your home. This is now, unfortunately, a feeling that my 13- and 9-year-old children have to face and I do worry about their mental health as a result.

A Harvard University study report from 2023 found that children who experience housing insecurity are more likely to develop anxiety or depression at some time in their lives than housing-secure children. That is millions of children and young adults whose mental health has been, or could be, impacted by the scourge of landlordism.

The housing crisis is not a new phenomenon. The seeds were sown in 1980 with Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ act, which allowed council tenants to buy their homes and continued into the 1990’s with the ‘buy-to-let’ craze. People bought up houses to boost their retirement income, without necessarily continuing upkeep on those properties.

Unfortunately, successive Westminster governments and local councils over the last 40 years have not replaced council housing stock, preferring to back public-private initiatives or leaving renters at the mercy of exploitative private landlords.

The Tories had promised to ban ‘no-fault’ evictions as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill. That was ditched. 87 MPs are landlords themselves after all…

Everyone deserves good-quality, long-term-secure and healthy council housing. If the capitalist system can’t provide that, then we need to fight for socialist change – where things can be planned to meet the needs of all rather than the profits of the few.

Socialist Party fights for

  • End ‘no-fault’ evictions. Secure tenancies for all
  • Slash the rents – introduce rent controls now!
  • Compulsory licensing of all landlords to ensure decent housing standards
  • A mass programme of council home building. Councils should fight the cuts,
  • by setting no-cuts, needs-based budgets as part of building a mass campaign for the funding they need
  • Nationalise the large building companies, land and banks, under democratic workers’ control and public ownership, to ensure enough good-quality council housing and cheap mortgages
  • For socialist planning to end the housing crisis and ensure a decent future for all!