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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2014

Con-Dems escalate housing crisis

James Kerr, TUSC candidate for Telegraph Hill ward, Lewisham

'I don't know how I'm going to be able to afford to live in London'. This phrase, is being heard across the capital as workers, especially the younger generations, struggle to cope with sky-high rents, out-of-reach house prices and a shortage of social housing.

Is it any wonder when the Rightmove property website reported asking prices for some properties in Brent had risen by as much as 7.3% in a single month?

And to top this, last week, a garage in Camberwell next to an industrial estate - with 'development opportunities', according to Southwark council - sold for an eye-watering 550,000!

These prices are mirrored in the rental market with more workers being forced further out of Inner London as landlords cash in and the super-rich flood the housing market with cash.

As this crisis develops we ask - 'what is the solution?' The Con-Dem government's 'help-to-buy' scheme was hailed on its launch a year ago but is a drop in the ocean when it comes to housing need. Moreover, this programme is actually fuelling the housing price bubble.

Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson's 'First Steps' website advertises shared ownership for those on 'low and modest incomes'. From a sample of 75 homes only four would be affordable to a London firefighter, showing how many skilled workers are priced out of even the so-called affordable housing options.

A mass programme of council house building is required to deal with the root of the problem, but will the main parties deliver the goods?

In my borough of Lewisham there are over 17,700 people on the waiting list for social housing. The Labour-run council proposes to build a mere 500 council homes over the next four years, not even scratching the surface of the problem.

Contrast that to TUSC candidate for Mayor of Lewisham, and former Socialist Party councillor in Telegraph Hill, Chris Flood. His proposal is to build 18,000 homes; launching a mass campaign in Lewisham to demand the money necessary from central government, and creating jobs for the unemployed.

Chris is also raising the call for rent controls and a register of landlords to make Lewisham an affordable place to live, not a cash cow for rip-off landlords and lettings agents.

Up and down the country the issue of housing is being discussed on the doorsteps but only TUSC is providing a fighting political solution.

If you want to fight for decent homes why not support TUSC by voting, getting involved and standing as a no-cuts candidate?

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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.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 16 April 2014:

Socialist Party election campaigning

Help TUSC offer a no-cuts alternative on 22 May

Election appeal: help us make history

More cuts and another resignation in Southampton

Socialist Party news and analysis

Profit vultures out of NHS

Ending MPs' expenses scandal requires socialist change

Con-Dems escalate housing crisis

Tamiflu scandal exposes bloodsucking big pharma

Pit closures: Final act of Tory vandalism

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

40 years of the Committee for a Workers' International

India: massive election process could end in turmoil

Socialist Party workplace news

Gains for left on NUT executive

Stop the education catastrophe!

Health workers vote to fight government pay cuts

Strikers shut cinema in battle for living wage

Let down by Welsh Labour

RMT: Put the tube strike back on and escalate

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Beating Bedroom Tax evictions

NUS conference: sip tea or put up a serious fight?

Goldthorpe: Anger at Thatcher's destruction of mining

Anti-austerity demonstration called in Salford

May Day greetings with the Socialist

Readers' comments

Hard loads - and a fightback - on the bins

Working on zero-hour contracts

Disgusted at politicians' big business links


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