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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 June 2018

Pay rises of 283% needed for most to afford London homes

Mass council house building programme needed now

Houses, photo Chmee2/CC

Houses, photo Chmee2/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Emily, East London Socialist Party

As a worker in London who earns just under half the average London wage, I would need a payrise to 134,000 a year in order to afford a mortgage in the city. In other words, 283% more than the average London salary of 35,610, or over 400% more than what I and many others earn.

In 26 of 33 boroughs, more than 100,000 is needed to buy a home with an 80% mortgage according to a National Housing Federation report. Even in the seven 'cheaper' boroughs like Newham and Redbridge, a wage of between 87,000 and 98,000 is needed to buy a home. This is far beyond what most working class and young people earn, showing that the prospect of owning a home in London - where the average price of a home is 585,000 - is unattainable.

But everywhere, not just in London, housing and home ownership for working class and young people is getting harder and harder to achieve. Due to low wages, insecure contracts, decreasing council housing and astronomical property prices, most are forced to rent privately - normally at rip-off rents - or stay living at home.

Even 'affordable' housing schemes such as shared ownership, which enables you to purchase a percentage of a property instead of buying outright, incur huge solicitors and agent fees, as well as monthly rent, mortgage and service charge payments, so the cost of even owning a share of a property is beyond what most can afford.

The report also points out the shortage of housing in London. Between 2012 and 2016 there were of 177,590 fewer homes than needed. The shortage of affordable housing has become desperate with the homelessness crisis and the increased use of food banks by working class families.

We need higher wages in the short term so we can afford rents and mortgages, but businesses are not going to give us all pay rises of 283% or more. We need a massive council house building programme so that we have affordable, secure homes for all without having to earn six-figure sums.

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In The Socialist 13 June 2018:

Grenfell Tower

Grenfell: still waiting for justice

PCS union

Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes! Smash the cap!

PCS members in DWP say: Pay up now!

Fighting sexism

How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

Socialist Party news and analysis

Five reasons to walk out on 13 July

City vultures make millions from Carillion chaos

Retail crunch: more giants on their knees - nationalise them now

Pay rises of 283% needed for most to afford London homes

Them & us

Workplace news and analysis

Health unions accept divisive NHS pay deal

NHS workers plan coordinated strikes across West Yorks against outsourcing

4,000 Rolls-Royce jobs at risk

Transport for London to lose central grant: bus workers must prep for action

Housing strike against individualised pay enters week two

Vote Mike Rolfe for Napo general secretary

International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela: Neither the capitalists nor regime can solve the crisis

Eyewitness report from Gaza: "Razan was killed in front of my eyes"

Socialist Party campaigns

Build an anti-racist workers' movement

Help to sell the Socialist

Don't delay, buy issue 1000 today

Sheffield Labour council "happy" to jail trees protesters

In the words of Amber Rudd, "no one died at Orgreave"


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