The Socialist

The Socialist 3 June 2015

Strikes get results

The Socialist issue 858

Strikes get results

Tories deepen housing crisis

Labour leadership 'choice' confirms need for new party

Bruised and Blattered - Fifa's boss eventually resigns

Finance capital - taking Liborties

Setting the anti-war record straight

Filipino nurses fight Daily Mail smears

Them & Us


The lessons of Labour's 1945 victory

Heysel: How socialist councillors built bridges


Budget Day: Smash Tory austerity!

Queen's Speech protests: determination to fight back

Sri Lankan students protest


Lewisham academy schools plans dropped

Victory for Kone strikers!

Glasgow council concedes over pay grading

Network Rail forced to make new offer

PCS members rally in Trafalgar Square

Bromley anti-privatisation action continues

Workplace news in brief


Spain: left 'popular unity' lists win key victories

Britain: end deportations - solidarity needed

Chile: 200,000 protest in Santiago

Hong Kong: refugee campaign victory


Mental health services gutted by Labour cuts

How the unemployed are targeted with sanctions

Human rights hypocrisy

 
 
 
 

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Tories deepen housing crisis

As private landlords and super-rich cash in

Alison Hill

One hundred million pounds of central London property was sold in the 24 hours after the Tory victory in the general election, as rich buyers breathed a sigh of relief that Labour's timid mansion tax was dead and the tax loopholes for super-rich 'non-doms' would continue.

This is a different world to most of us who are experiencing the effects of this runaway property market, making housing to buy or rent unaffordable.

Summing up the current 'them and us' housing scandal the chief executive of Shelter recently said: "No matter how hard they work or save, an entire generation is being forced to watch their dreams of a stable future slip through their fingers, stuck in properties where rents eat up their salaries and short-term contracts leave them with no stability at all".

So much for the hard working families that Cameron bangs on about. There's plenty of people working hard but with absolutely no prospect of finding an affordable, secure place to live as a result.

Shortage

There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing. Councils have effectively privatised much of their stock, making being on the housing waiting list almost a pointless exercise. And since the Tories brought in the 'right to buy' council houses in 1980, thousands of previously council owned homes have become nice little earners for private landlords.

Now the Tories want to force housing associations to sell off their assets at a discount, so the only providers of remotely affordable housing are to be hamstrung.

The Tories smugly point to the private sector to fill the gaps. But we all know that private renting is expensive and sometimes even dangerous.

Citizens Advice produced a report that found one in six privately rented homes in England are "physically unsafe" - 750,000 households. This can include damp, cold, rodent infestation and risk of falls.

And if tenants complain about the conditions then they risk being turfed-out in favour of someone who will keep quiet.

The big building firms whinge that there's too much 'red tape' but private developers are no longer obliged to provide even a small number of 'affordable homes' in new housing projects. And housing starts are at their lowest levels since the 1920s. Clearly the private sector cannot meet the housing needs of the population. Yet a decent, secure, affordable place to live should be everyone's basic right.

We say:

  • End the privatisation of council and housing association housing.
  • Estates should be run under the democratic control of tenants and the local community, with affordable rents and secure tenancies.
  • Rent controls to stop private landlords charging excessive rents.
  • For the nationalisation of the banks and building industry under democratic workers' control and management, to fund and build a massive scheme of affordable council house building.

In this issue


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strikes get results

Tories deepen housing crisis

Labour leadership 'choice' confirms need for new party

Bruised and Blattered - Fifa's boss eventually resigns

Finance capital - taking Liborties

Setting the anti-war record straight

Filipino nurses fight Daily Mail smears

Them & Us


Socialist history

The lessons of Labour's 1945 victory

Heysel: How socialist councillors built bridges


Socialist Party youth and students

Budget Day: Smash Tory austerity!

Queen's Speech protests: determination to fight back

Sri Lankan students protest


Socialist Party workplace news

Lewisham academy schools plans dropped

Victory for Kone strikers!

Glasgow council concedes over pay grading

Network Rail forced to make new offer

PCS members rally in Trafalgar Square

Bromley anti-privatisation action continues

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: left 'popular unity' lists win key victories

Britain: end deportations - solidarity needed

Chile: 200,000 protest in Santiago

Hong Kong: refugee campaign victory


Readers' comment

Mental health services gutted by Labour cuts

How the unemployed are targeted with sanctions

Human rights hypocrisy


 

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