Home, the saying goes, is where the heart is. Yet increasingly it is there that we are forced to bear the most sickening attacks. Manipulative agencies, dodgy landlords and a pathetic government house-building programme are pricing millions, especially those of us under thirty, out of a decent home of our own. In response we need a revolutionary housing campaign. We demand a socialist housing policy in a socialist Britain.
We have to take on the enemy’s forces and tactics. Take house prices, for example; the house price to earnings ratio is over 9:1 in London. The price of a typical home in the UK is now £198,564, well beyond the means of the majority. This leads us to housing benefits, which are nowhere near adequate to cover the near-five million people who rely on them.
The abject neglect of council housing over the last twenty-five years means that the number of local authority dwellings have halved to just two million since 1991. Meanwhile, the Tories’ laughable notion of what an affordable housing programme should be means that over 1.3 million people are on a waiting list for “affordable homes” for which rent (£2,400) may exceed the average monthly salary (£2,200). This forces people into the grasping hands of the private rented sector.
Notoriously dodgy private landlords remain at large, ripping off anyone who falls into their clutches. A landlord in England may evict a tenant, on nothing but a whim, with just six months notice. The Wilsons are an example, shameless profiteers who were rescued by the Bank of England but happily evict tenants on housing benefit. The same goes for the UK’s largest housing agency and the unfortunate executives at Grainger PLC, who had to settle for a reduced bonus of just £2,192,000 in 2015.
First time buyers’ prospects are staggeringly grim. A single person now has to save up for an average of thirteen years to buy a first home. For students, the outlook is also appalling. Numerous universities fail to offer accommodation for under £100 per week, and once freshers’ year is over, agencies swoop like vultures to pick any remaining cash from the carcass of our generation. We have to fight these parasites.
Our campaign needs to lay bare the devious establishment and the need to overthrow it. Revolutionary socialism is the only genuine opposition to these super-rich landlords and capitalists, and it is the new generation who must now take up the fight. Join our campaign for a socialist future where everyone has a safe, secure place to call home.
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