Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 May 2008

Housing crisis worsens

Build Affordable Homes Now!

In the same week that Tony Blair buys his sixth house for 4 million, the Local Government Association announced that another million people could join housing waiting lists in the next two years.

Lois Austin

This shocking prospect is due to housing repossessions and the credit crunch. These people will join the four million already waiting for council or social housing.

Court orders for the first stages of repossession rose by 17% in the first quarter of this year. The Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts that there will be 45,000 repossessions in 2008, an increase of 27,100 on 2007.

The mealy mouthed expressions of sympathy by housing ministers and the timid threats at regulating mortgage companies to help those at risk of losing their home are having no effect.

Not one family should lose their home from repossession. If Northern Rock can be bailed out to the tune of 61 billion, then so can families and individuals unable to keep up mortgage payments due to the current credit squeeze and high interest rates.

Many of those hoping to get some help from their local authority will not even be eligible to get on the housing waiting list, let alone be given somewhere to live, so bad is the current housing crisis.

A Shelter report last year exposed the fact that 500,000 families live in overcrowded conditions, this means that 900,000 children in 21st century Britain are brought up in cramped housing conditions. In many overcrowded homes parents sleep on kitchen and hall floors. Bringing children up in these conditions can lead to illnesses like asthma and in some cases the physical and emotional development of children is severely affected.

How on earth are councils going to cope with those losing their homes from this present crisis? The simple answer is that they are not.

There will be more overcrowding, more families living in bed and breakfast and more living in other types of temporary housing - including local councils paying a fortune to put families in private rented accommodation.

Councils are totally ill-equipped to deal with this collapse in the housing market because no council homes have been built for decades. What we had has been sold, or transferred to 'social housing' landlords, who then often want to impose 'market' rents.

Homes for rent

The government plan is to build 70,000 affordable homes by 2011 and of those, 45,000 will be social homes for rent. The problem with this plan is that many will be part-rent, part-buy and are simply not affordable for those five million on housing waiting lists.

The homes for rent will not be council houses but housing association homes, which in many cases, will mean paying not far off a market rent with very little security of tenure.

But even this limited plan to deal with the present crisis is faltering. Due to the current economic climate this house-building programme is 50% behind target, with building companies reticent to start on new builds and projecting huge job cuts.

The abolition of council housing and the policy, pushed for by the Tories and New Labour, of tying people into home ownership, whether that be on the open market or with a housing association, means that millions of people are now at the mercy of the mortgage companies and banks.

Nothing short of a huge council house-building programme, which would mean a low rent and secure home can solve this current housing crisis.

Lois Austin spoke on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC 2 on the Housing crisis last Friday

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

In The Socialist 21 May 2008:

Step Up Fight Against Low Pay!

Force more u-turns out of this weak government

Housing crisis

Build Affordable Homes Now!

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison members say 'no' to witch hunt

Reasons to be cheerful about the trade unions

Public-sector workers say pay up!

National Shop Stewards Network second conference advert

Socialist Party campaigns

Give us back our Post Office!

Fightback saves Cardiff school

Southampton students: 'Don't gag us'


Glasgow: BNP not welcome here

100% rise for health bosses

Global food crisis

Them and Us: The great divide

Environment: Nuclear power

Nuclear industry's 'green' camouflage

London Olympics

London Olympics 2012: A great sporting occasion and a great profit-making opportunity

France 1968 - month of revolution

France 1968: Be realistic - demand the impossible!

International discussion on the way forward for socialists

Video: 'France 1968, month of revolution' London meeting

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

International socialist news and analysis

China: Earthquake disaster exposes regime's failings

Lebanon: Hezbollah routs pro-US Siniora government forces

Ireland: Vote no to Lisbon Treaty and EU militarisation!

France: Workers and youth resist Sarkozy's attacks


Home   |   The Socialist 21 May 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

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

triangle'Occupy to save the town square'

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleGentrification scourge hits Kent

triangleNo to the Woolwich monster block

triangleDebate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?


triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget


triangleThe Socialist inbox


triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

Northern Rock:

triangleTories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions



German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more



Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success



Nottingham hospital black alert


East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference


West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference



Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead



Bradford protests against kids' service cuts


May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!



Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget



Save Salford nurseries!



Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved



Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation



Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!



Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

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



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018