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8 December 2021

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Affordable housing for all

Councils must offer a socialist solution to the housing crisis

photo JB

photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

Reece Wilson, Basingstoke Socialist Party

The cost of living is going up - you can feel it. Your food bill, your gas bill and electricity bill go up each month. Your biggest expense is almost certainly rent, which is also rising rapidly. Are your wages?

Average private rents are up 4.6% on last year according to Zoopla, and if you're in the south west, rent increased a staggering 9%!

The 'living' wage is set to rise to just about cover inflation. But what about the millions who have faced sub-inflationary pay rises at best, if even that? This is not to mention those in precarious work, whose payslips vary from one month to the next, or those who no longer have their job after the ending of furlough and have been forced onto unemployment benefits.

On the other hand, profits for companies continue to rise, dividends increase, and the bosses get richer. Housing companies have increased their profits significantly this year, and have done so building extortionate low-standard housing that is out of reach for many working-class families.

We say the top-ten home builders must be nationalised, with compensation paid only to small investors and shareholders in genuine need. But this will not happen under the Tories, who received £891,000 in donations from property developers in the first quarter of 2021.

Rent control

We need rent control and a massive building programme of publicly owned housing, on an environmentally sustainable basis, to provide good quality homes with low rents. Councils have the power to take these measures; London councils alone have increased their reserves by more than £1 billion since 2018. The money is there, what rainy day are they saving it for?

Labour-run councils have shown they are not prepared to take the steps needed to provide genuinely affordable homes for working-class people. Therefore, we need our own workers' party that will fight for our interests and elect councillors who are prepared to set needs budgets and take on the Tories to demand the funds.

The Socialist Party, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), is helping to develop those needs budgets in our communities, and preparing to stand in the local elections in May (see pages 8-9).

Now is the time to join us, to help build a new mass workers' party that defends our interests and fights for a socialist solution to capitalism's housing crisis.

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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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


News

Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief


What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits


People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts


International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US


Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute


Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Review

Film review: The Harder They Fall


 

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Related links:

Housing:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The housing crisis

triangleTories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

triangleNana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

triangleEast London mass non-payment wins housing victory

triangleHousing campaigners protest CEO champagners

Socialist:

triangleObituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

trianglePeople's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

Rents:

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

triangleRefund student rent and fees

triangleRefund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education

Homes:

triangleEnergy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit

triangleEnd fuel poverty

Article dated 8 December 2021

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Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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