The Housing Crisis: What Should Be Done?

Like many people I extremely concerned about the ability of our children and grandchildren to be able to live in many areas of the UK. Property values are such that owning a home is beyond the capabilities of the vast majority of young people and families. Even more alarming is the fact that social housing is diminishing, while demand is at an all-time high. We desperately need more housing being built. However, building houses that are beyond the financial means of those in need cannot solve the problem.

We need a government that will ensure that housing is built to meet need and not built for profit. We do need houses built for private sale. However, we also need significant quantities of ecological social houses being built for an easily affordable rent. What is more, we need to see local authorities being given powers to put rented social housing under the democratic control of elected representatives (elected through a proportionate system that will ensure that all recognised political parties are fairly represented on a housing authority). This could be achieved by the setting up of 'Housing Authorities' within borough councils - matched by a legal requirement that all major decisions associated with social and privately rented properties - such as inter alia rents, tenancy policies, repair budgets, eviction policies, - are subject to approval by Housing Authorities that comprise of proportionally elected representatives.

There should also be powers given to local authorities to compulsory purchase (with a significant penalty discount) privately rented properties where landlords abuse tenants rights (including the rent a tenant is asked to pay), or fail to maintain acceptable housing living standards.

We need to see easily affordable ecological housing. We need to see decent standards of housing and we need to re-establish democracy in housing.

After the second world war, Labour built council housing "fit for heroes".  Since then, housing has been built for profit. We need to see housing built for our children, our grandchildren, and those in need.

The 'free' housing market has failed to meet our peoples needs. We need to ensure that the housing market is regulated and controlled. We need to see democratic control of social housing.