Helen Jacks – Unite
Nick Ballard – Acorn
tbc – Shelter
Meeting organised by Bristol Trades Union Council
Decent housing is a basic human need, but it is one where Britain continues to fail people in many ways. Selling off existing affordable homes through Right to Buy, restricting tenancies to a fixed length term or “market” rents are not the ways to deal with Britain’s housing crisis.
Bristol Trades Union Council will campaign for more housing to be built in order to deal with the entrenched crisis. A crucial part of this campaign is the call for more social housing, including more local authority housing.
Investing in house building will pay for itself and generate thousands of jobs and apprenticeships. With the government able to borrow at rock bottom rates it needs to get out its cheque book and start building and allow local authorities to do likewise.
We also call for more affordable mortgages and better services for owner occupiers, and for fair rents and secure tenancies in the private rented sector. Another important strand of our work is to campaign to defend housing benefits, which are under attack by the Government.
We are concerned that poor and overcrowded housing ruins people’s life chances, increasing the risk that they will do badly in education and suffer from poor health. We have also become very worried that poor housing also undermines people’s ability to do well at work.
Clearly the Resolution Foundation indicates that the most affordable housing is in the social sector which includes Council housing.
The Morning Star carried an article, Friday 22nd April 2016, by Glyn Robbins, that argued that we must restore decent affordable council housing to the mainstream, return housing associations to their social purpose, control rents and demand secure homes for all.
The full article can be found here The Housing Bill has got to be killed
According to new Resolution Foundation analysis published today (Tuesday 26th April 2016) found that the extra share of income being spent on housing over the last 20 years – up from 17 per cent in 1995 to 21 per cent in 2015 – is equivalent £1,500 pay cut per year for a typical dual-earning couple with a child.
The Foundation warned that these increases have pushed too many households into spending a perilously high share of their income on housing. Its analysis shows that around 3.3 million households spend at least a third of their income on housing costs – up from 1.6 million in the mid-1990s.
The analysis also showed that private renters spend a greater share of their income on housing (30 per cent) than mortgage owners (23 per cent) or social renters (20 per cent).
The Foundation says that while housing costs outpacing income growth is severely impeding people’s living standards, policy action to stem rising housing costs and promote stronger income growth could help to bring the UK’s looming housing affordability crisis back under control.
Lindsay Judge, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“There is a risk that housing could do to future living standards what falling earnings did to recent living standards. Avoiding this will require decisive policy action over decades to get housing costs back under control.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “These figures are another stark reminder of how our drastic shortage of affordable homes is leaving millions of ordinary families struggling to keep up.”
The press release can be found here Rising housing costs since the 1990s equivalent to 10p increase in basic rate of tax for a typical family
The Morning Star reported on Thursday 24th March 2016 that “DISABLED people are being made homeless in their thousands due to welfare cuts and a housing crisis spiralling out of control, official figures revealed yesterday.”
The full article can be found here Disabled Homelessness Risis in Tory Britain
The Morning Star carried a useful article on homelessness on Tuesday 22nd march 2016 by LIZ DAVIES which stated “Despite Osborne’s spin, the stats show that our housing crisis has grown ever worse since he became Chancellor”
The full article can be found here The Budget of Homelessness