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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2015

Housing crisis:

Build Homes

Cap Rents

Waltham Forest TUSC supporters campaigning for rent control, photo Waltham Forest TUSC

Waltham Forest TUSC supporters campaigning for rent control, photo Waltham Forest TUSC   (Click to enlarge)

Kris O'Sullivan, Coventry Socialist Students

There is a housing crisis in this country and it's affecting you and me. We don't know each other but we share one thing in common: we both need a roof over our heads.

However, even this basic human requirement is harder and harder to come by. We see extensive council house sell-offs, predatory private landlords, welfare cuts - and meagre government housing quotas not being met. We are ending up with a dangerous cocktail we cannot afford to swallow.

To make things worse, there are now more than 1.5 million families with children at the mercy of private landlords - compared with just 566,000 in 2004. Unlike people who live in social housing, private tenants have little long-term security. Tenancy agreements can last 12 months, or even only six, making it difficult for families to settle in communities and schools.

The average time tenants live in a privately rented home before being forced to move is just three and a half years. Compare this with eleven and a half years in social housing, and more than 17 years for owner-occupiers.

In addition, rents have been rising faster than inflation for some time. In London, private tenants on average pay half their pre-tax income in rent. More and more working people rely on housing benefit due to poverty pay.

And this is not even to mention the growing tragedy of homelessness.

It all adds up to working class people - especially the young and most disadvantaged in society - being priced out of communities and a dignified standard of living. But renters are starting to fight back. Campaigns have sprung up all around the country, defending council homes from sell-off and campaigning for a better deal in private tenancies.

Students are among those exploited. As a student myself, I have seen that struggle can attract people fed up with their situation.

Coventry Socialist Students has been fighting for a student-run letting agency to ensure affordable rents and quality housing. We have also been working to organise a student tenants' union, and disrupting housing fairs to send a clear message to predatory landlords: there is no room for unfair housing.

The housing market is nothing more than a cash cow for the rich. Mortgage lenders leech off owners; most landlords leech off tenants. The Socialist Party stands for a massive programme of council house building, and rent controls in the private sector.

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In The Socialist 4 March 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing crisis: Build Homes - Cap Rents

Socialist change to remedy climate change

Man of straw - is cut to size

Forbes list gives the lie to austerity - join the Socialists!

Them & Us


International Women's Day

Women and new unionism: lessons for today


International socialist news and analysis

50,000 march in Moscow after shooting of Nemtsov


2015 elections

TUSC councillors table 'no-cuts' budgets

The Green Party has no answers

Brighton council stuck in budget stalemate

Discussion in United Left on stance in general election

Donate to fight the 'grand coalition'


Socialist Party workplace news

Firefighters march though Westminster

Stop the Crossrail sackings!

More unions join Lewisham anti-academies strike

ICO staff on strike for fair pay

Build the left in CWU elections


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Newcastle united against far-right bigots

Campaign victory saves ten children's centres

Campaigns news in brief

May Day greetings in the Socialist


 

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Related links:

Homes:

triangleIreland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Civil rights struggles in the UK

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

triangleGoldsmiths Socialist Students: Build a movement against racism

Rents:

triangleRents soar 60% faster than pay - while spivs plan luxury homes on Green Belt

triangleTories pledge three-year private tenancies: fight for rent caps and council homes

triangleYoung people trapped in private rental

triangleRent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

Housing:

triangle'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Right to Buy, housing crisis and homelessness

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Tenants:

triangleSweden: Socialist elected leader of 77,000-strong tenants' union

triangleRonan Point disaster 50 years on

Council:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Can our council fight the cuts?

Coventry:

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: "I was searching for an alternative to this system"

Housing benefit:

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

Homelessness:

triangleUniversal credit causes 24m rent arrears

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