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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2012

Housing crisis in London

Forced out - fighting back

Suzanne Beishon, London Youth Fight for Jobs

It has been revealed that the number of people sleeping rough in England has grown by more than a fifth in the past year.

In the same period homelessness has jumped 14% nationally and in London that figure is even higher at 36%. In fact in seven London boroughs homelessness has doubled in a year!

Hidden away in the report of those figures, was the fact that as a result of job losses there has been a 44% increase in households who are homeless after repossession.

While wages have stagnated or been cut and jobs have been slashed, rents have risen 8% since 2009 reaching a record high at the end of 2011, meaning a bigger and bigger proportion of what we earn is spent on rent and other housing costs.

One survey showed that 30% of Londoners say they expect to be driven out of the capital by the high cost of housing and more than one million people in London were relying on credit and payday loans to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months.

David Cameron has stated that lower housing benefit limits are forcing landlords to reduce rental levels. Using freedom of information requests of every English council an Inside Housing survey found his claim does not stack up.

Of 204 authorities to respond, just 36 reported any rent reductions in return for direct payment of local housing allowance (LHA).

In reality, many landlords in the London boroughs where renting is cheaper actually see an opportunity to push rents up as people flood into those areas after being priced out of others.

200,000 people could be forced out of the capital. In London Youth Fight for Jobs, linking up with trade unions, has launched Forced Out - Fight Back to campaign against these issues.

The campaign has already been debating with Grant Shapps, the Tory housing minister, on Twitter (follow @LDNForcedOutYFJ).

The campaign is also active at universities around London. Many students have horror stories about housing - one young woman told us that she was paying 300 a week for a room in a shared house!

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns for:


London housing campaign launch meeting

Tuesday 17 April, 7pm
ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY

Supported by Unite 1111 housing workers' branch

Contact youthfightforjobs@gmail.com for leaflets and to get involved

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In The Socialist 15 March 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Resist Cameron's cold cruelty

Fight the cuts - for a workers' alternative

Fight back against attacks on pensions

Those fracking Tories

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers fight on

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Widespread fraud alleged as Putin wins presidential poll

Kazakhstan: Oilworkers' lawyer freed from prison


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

National demo needed to save our NHS

Liberals' 'democratic' conference

Fighting Con-Dem attacks on education

14 March - Socialist Students get a response

Housing crisis in London

Library cash goes to supermarket bosses

Coventry: Fight for a socialist alternative

May Day greetings


Socialist Party congress

Socialist Party Congress 10-12 March 2012

World developments show - capitalism is crisis

Trade unions and workplaces

Britain: working class begins to 'rise like lions'

Building the Socialist Party: 'year of the branch'

Young, socialist and proud to be!


Reviews & readers' comments

'Westenders' - omnibus edition

The best of 'literary fiction'


 

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Related links:

Housing:

triangleAfter Grenfell, thousands still in high-rise firetrap blocks

triangleRip-off landlords make money out of misery

triangleArrogant landlords can be beaten

triangleThe Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The case for socialist nationalisation

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: AGM and review of our local work

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Pakistan - Lessons of 1968/1969

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The Tech revolution - its consequences

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

Youth:

triangleExam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!

triangleJordan: Workers and youth remove prime minister and demand end to austerity

Jobs:

triangleUnions must fight and demand nationalisation to save thousands of car industry jobs

Housing benefit:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

Homelessness:

triangleDeath in a doorway: struggle can end homelessness

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