Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/516/3644

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2008

Free market causes...

Growing crisis in housing

HOUSING IN Britain is an example of 'market failure'. The free market cannot, and will not, solve the current housing crisis. It is quite able, however, to provide multi-millionaires with penthouses in ex-Local Authority tower blocks and old waterside warehouses. It can build houses where it can still see the money rolling in.

Steve Wootton, Bristol Socialist Party

A market requires people who are able to buy what you have to sell. But a high cost of living, and pay deals that do not keep up with it, prevent many workers from affording a home. Now the credit crunch is also having an effect.

And if you can't afford the open market, even the 'part rent, part buy' schemes can't solve the problem. The 'buy' bit is still so expensive, and in some cases the service charges can bar members from this option.

And if you get through this, means testing rears its head as with all New Labour initiatives. So if you've worked to save a deposit and are in the First Time Buyers Initiative/ New Futures, all your money must go into the pot to purchase a share, with little flexibility to keep some back for unforeseen bills once you've moved in.

Own a home? More like 'own an ever-increasing debt' if you are not careful. Workers should be free from the worry of debt. A decent, secure and affordable home should be a right.

If the private market cannot provide that right, then there should be a massive public house-building programme planned, built and financed by the public sector.

The resources are there if the necessary land, the banks and the building industry are taken into public ownership, with compensation only on the basis of proven need. But the government has been more interested in shoring up Northern Rock bank so more private speculators can be subsidised at public expense.

The government claims that it doesn't matter who owns the housing or who will provide it, availability should take precedence. But we must not surrender to the free market idea that denies people the right to a decent home. It divides workers depending on what availability is in their area.

We hear this argument in the NHS, delivered by the Free Market Party's three wings - Labour, Conservatives and Liberals; that it doesn't matter who owns the service, so long as services are delivered and provided free.

But look at what PFI has meant in the NHS. Hidden charges, deficits, debts and even closures. For private housing that idea means repossessions where the private landlord is king.

As my trade union's journal CWU Voice said recently: "Our experience of private capital in public services is entirely negative". The CWU argues to keep the Post Office in public hands; and says that Telecoms should be brought back into the public sector.

Many workers are now caught in the trap of 'free market' control of housing. The CWU and other trade unions should also campaign hard to defend and expand public ownership of housing, along with land nationalisation, to solve the housing crisis.


Is this 'affordable' housing?

I AM on the council housing waiting list with my partner. We have had to start looking at 'part rent, part buy' "affordable housing" as we are considered as "Band 5" on the council list, ie no hope of getting anything else. First we were asked to consider the private market due to a high demand on remaining council stock.

The cheapest mortgage we found worked out as payments of 1,000 per month; before council tax and other bills. This was ruled out, it would totally swallow up my partner's monthly take home salary while bills would start to eat into mine.

Then we looked at the government's so-called "affordable" First Time Buyers Initiative. The latest letter from one housing association shows exactly what they think is "affordable."

For a one-bedroom apartment in Bristol, a single wage earner would need to be earning a minimum of 25, 365 or have a joint income with a partner of 31,465. For a two-bedroom apartment in Bristol, you would need to be earning 30,359 or a joint income of 37,809.

Steve Wootton

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 17 January 2008:

Fight for a living wage

Burslem: Support victimised postal workers

Editorial: Fight three year low pay tie-ins


Environment and socialism

Stop nuclear power plans NOW!

Is the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change?


Sleaze

Hain's sorry saga of sleaze

Blair's rewards from big business


Anti-Cuts campaigns

Fire cuts threat to our public safety

Cardiff schools campaign grows


Housing Crisis

Nationalise Northern Rock - permanently

Growing crisis in housing


Socialist Party news

Save our post offices

Salford says: "Don't close our women's centre"

'Them and Us': news shorts


Trade unions

Feature: Building the shop stewards' movement


Socialist Party campaigning

Ideas for campaigning and fundraising


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: New year starts with atrocities

Biggest miners' underground occupation in Polish history


Socialist Party review

Review: More Time for Politics, Diaries 2001-2007, by Tony Benn


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Karen Reissman - defend mental health services!

Derby nurses fight management attacks

Liverpool: City of Cuts

Vote Jim Cessford


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 January 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Housing:

triangleA-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

triangleHousing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Market:

triangleSocialist planning is the alternative

triangleSecret cuts meeting couldn't prevent protests in Newham

triangleSocialist Sellers

triangleStop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

Nationalisation:

triangleNationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleFight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

Sub-prime:

triangleTories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

5/8/20

Hospital

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999