Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/976/26642

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 January 2018

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize the 60,000 empty homes

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo by Derek Harper/CC

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo by Derek Harper/CC   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens

Over 60,000 homes in England and Wales have been vacant for more than two years. At the same time, 9,100 people live in tents. And in London alone around 9,000 'beds in sheds' fill secret slums.

How much longer do we have to watch the market fail to sort this out? The properties are there! Just take them!

Even the Liberal Democrats, Britain's second-best Tory tribute act, think it's an idea. It's their research which turned up the empty digs through council Freedom of Information requests.

In five years, only 19 of those councils - less than 8% - say they've taken any of these places over.

They all have the power. After six months they can issue 'empty dwelling management orders' for them. 11,000 have been empty over a decade.

And so the desperate homeless found makeshift cities of tents. Their population is booming. The 9,100 people living there represent a 56% growth between 2011 and 2016, according to Crisis.

The homelessness charity projects 11,000 in tents by 2020. Why?

Rents are up, benefits down. Tenancies are insecure and so is employment. But even families in stable work are now at risk of homelessness, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Losing a tenancy is the growing cause: behind 31% of homelessness in England, says Crisis. It was at 11% when the Tories came to power.

'Beds in sheds'

And it's the Tories themselves who identified 6,000 hidden 'beds in sheds' across two-thirds of London's boroughs - the majority Labour. They estimate the total number to be 9,000.

But is their real concern for the poor people living in sheds? They couldn't resist linking it to lost council tax receipts, undocumented migration - and benefit fraud.

Of course, getting benefits at all is near impossible thanks to the Tories. Their 'universal credit' system is a disaster. The diminishing amount and extravagant lateness of payments mean four out of five landlords refuse to take claimants, says the National Landlords Association.

The Tories, Blairites and Liberals have made homelessness normal.

Nottingham is trialling a special vending machine for the homeless dispensing snack food and hygiene products. Keycards allow users three items a day.

Enough! Take those empty homes and put them to use. And build council houses now. Nationalise the land and construction companies - the market won't do it.

After Grenfell Jeremy Corbyn was right to call on the council to seize empty properties for survivors. That still needs to happen. But now he should make the call across the country.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 January 2018:


New Year statement

2018: more upheavals loom


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party news and analysis

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Heart unit rescued by campaigning saves baby with pioneering surgery

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Housing victory for Sussex students

Leeds: temporary reprieve for playing fields

Bradford protest against children's service cuts

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference


Socialist Party workplace news

Equal sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

Newham: school strike solid against academy

Fire service victory

Leeds college pay protests


International socialist news and analysis

Catalan elections: PP humiliated


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Homes:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: We need action for homes for all

triangleLeeds estate residents push back private development

triangleBarking: campaigning over housing safety

triangleEnfield: 100% council homes at Meridian Water!

triangleThem & Us

Homelessness:

triangleUnsafe, unaffordable housing scandal

triangleLabour launches homelessness campaign

triangleThem & Us

triangleCuts councils massage homelessness figures

Tories:

triangleGeneral election looms... Capitalists in chaos: Fight for socialism

triangleBoot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

triangleBuild a working-class movement to force an election

Council:

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

triangleAfter the fire: fight for facilities for all

Homeless:

triangleThem & Us

Council tax:

triangleCouncil cuts continue while reserves rise

Claimants:

triangleFraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

21/8/19

Brexit

The 'national unity' threat to Corbynism

14/8/19

General election

General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: Fight for socialism

14/8/19

NHS

Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS

14/8/19

General election

Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

31/7/19

Climate change

Tories look in wrong place for climate solutions

31/7/19

Tories

Build a working-class movement to force an election

31/7/19

Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems: little bosses' party elects eager pro-austerity leader

31/7/19

Council

Labour promises to end council privatisation: councils must do that now!

31/7/19

Universal Credit

Fighting Universal Credit

31/7/19

CWI

CWI refounded with determination and confidence

30/7/19

Brexit

Boris, Brexit and British capitalism

21/7/19

CWI

Socialist Party conference reaffirms the CWI's historic approach

17/7/19

General election

Stop Boris - General election now

17/7/19

Them & Us

Them & Us

17/7/19

Universal Credit

Fraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999