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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2017

Corbyn pledges a million homes and landlord regulation

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

We say

Paula Mitchell, secretary, London Socialist Party

Jeremy Corbyn has promised 100,000 council homes a year if elected to government. Combined with 100,000 private sector homes, that totals a million new builds over the possible course of the next parliament.

And speaking at the end of London's recent May Day demonstration, John McDonnell rightly pledged to reinstate housing benefit for under-21s. Corbyn has also announced "tougher" standards for private landlords.

We face a massive lack of genuinely affordable housing, coupled with the 'bedroom tax', benefit caps, pay cuts and job losses. There are 800,000 too few homes in London alone, according to a 2013 estimate by London councils.

The current government, the government of the rich, wants to safeguard massive profits for landlords, building companies and property speculators, while driving working class people into misery.

So these recent policy announcements on housing will inspire many. Corbyn's job now is to build on them so they can start to really satisfy the needs of the working class, and to propose socialist measures to finance them.

'Regeneration' of council or housing association homes means gentrification and a loss of social housing - working class people's homes are replaced by luxury accommodation.

The Socialist Party fights for renovation without loss of social housing, lifetime tenancies, and the right of residents to vote on all changes. Corbyn should make these part of his programme.

Only 30% of the most upmarket homes in London are occupied full-time. Corbyn should also pledge to take over empty property for council housing.

Thousands of families have been forced out of London. Over 50,000 have been placed outside of their borough by local councils. Ending social cleansing means also promising to stop the sell-off and demolition of council homes - by Labour councils as well as others.

The Tories have already attacked the pledge to clamp down on bad landlords, saying higher standards will drive up rents. This is why it's important for Corbyn to reintroduce his policy of rent controls - which should mean caps, not just rules on how much prices can go up.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stands for a compulsory register of private landlords, to guarantee decent standards and control rents.

A million new homes is a very good start. Let's make that a million new council homes, rather than leaving half of them to market vultures.

Nationalising the large building companies and land would clear the way for that. And nationalising the banks under democratic control could ensure cheap mortgages for new buyers.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 3 May 2017:


What we think

Race against time for May as Corbyn sets out anti-austerity case


Socialist Party news and analysis

Jeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

Corbyn pledges a million homes and landlord regulation

McDonnell promises reversal of Tories' tax cuts for the super-rich

Corbyn pledges end to uni fees and school cuts

Corbyn government would lift NHS pay cap

Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally


Social care in crisis

Beyond the crisis point: saving social care


International socialist news and analysis

Packed court laughs down cutter Joan Burton's comparison to Marxist James Connolly

Trump's policies hit a wall


Socialist Students

NUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment


Workplace news and analysis

Unison health conference: fury over leadership's feet dragging

Union leadership and Labour right challenged at shop workers' conference

McDonald's forced to back down on zero-hours

PCS elections - vote Democracy Alliance

Transport union protests against driver-only operation outside parliament


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Rare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Mersey metro-mayor TV debate

'Socialist Steve' takes on the robots

TUSC's south Wales challenge to pro-cuts parties


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Buy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017

Housing association workers' and tenants' alternative awards ceremony

Sheffield mental health campaigner: "austerity kills"


 

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