According to a study released on Monday 6 July, 83,000 16-25 year olds have been forced to sleep rough over the last year. This figure is more than three times higher than the official government figure of 26,852.
The study was conducted by the Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge, and was commissioned by the homeless charity Centrepoint.
Part of the study included a ComRes poll which found that one in seven young people have slept rough in the past year. At the same time 65,000 families are currently in temporary accommodation – the highest figure since 2008.
Meanwhile, according to Homes from Empty Homes, there are 610,000 empty houses in England alone. In London, where there are an estimated 22,000 empty properties, Kensington and Chelsea both saw a 40% increase in empty properties last year. Camden, Highgate and Westminster have also seen big increases in empty homes in the recent period.
When capitalism is in crisis and investment opportunities are sparse, property represents a relatively secure investment. British and foreign capital finds its way into property as a money-making opportunity, not as somewhere to live.
We want an economy based on need and not profit. We want the biggest landlords, and all absentee owners to have their land expropriated and placed under the democratic control of the working class. Ordinary people can then plan the use of land and homes in the best interests of the majority, not to fuel the greed of a tiny minority.