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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2015

Students join campaign for affordable housing!

Sebastian Robyns-Landricombe, Cardiff Socialist Students

As students, we've all felt it. That grim punch to the gut that comes with the first of every month. I'm talking about rent.

When we arrive at university it's as if we're opening up the next exciting stage of our lives. University - we're told from knee high - is 'the best time of your life'.

However, our families tend to wince when we mention the costs - and I'm not talking about the nice 45K debt the average student leaves with now. I'm talking about the monthly cost we pay just for the right to have a roof over our heads.

Spiralling rents

The cost of university halls has doubled in the past ten years - with Cardiff first year students paying an average of 95 a week.

The problem becomes even more apparent when you decide to move into a house, or flat. In the last three years alone, monthly private rent has increased by a harrowing 25%. That's all before we start talking about agency fees and bonds.

The Guardian estimates that at this moment the price of purpose-built student accommodation and private housing consume 95% of the average student's maintenance loan.

So what's the cause of the sky-rocketing rents we have no option but to pay?

The answer is simple, a shortage of housing stock that allows predatory pricing and exploitative practices.

The university, the private landlords and the money-grabbing agencies think they have an entirely captive market. They think they have the ability to charge as they please, and are doing just that.

It's not just students who are being shamelessly exploited either. Cardiff Council has reported a massive increase in the demand for homeless services and support services for those unable to make ends meet.

Is it any wonder why so many students have to rely on part time jobs, or that painful phone call to mum and dad, or even drop out? Is it any wonder food banks are so busy?

We have a choice to make, do we either lie back and just accept the situation - or do we do what students have been doing for generations, and show them we're not going to take it!

Action

That's why Cardiff Housing Action Group was set up. It's a group that's fighting to end the rent rip-off, by imposing rent caps and abolishing agency fees.

On 17 October the 'Wales March for Homes' will be flooding into the streets around Cardiff city hall to demand an end to exploitation of Cardiff residents. It's great that Cardiff University Student Union has agreed to support the march. Socialist Students is calling for an effective campaign to encourage as many students as possible to participate.

We are calling NUS Wales and the NUS nationally to back the march too.

So if you're sick of worrying about whether you can afford to enjoy being a student, take a stand and make the change yourself. Join us and say no to student exploitation, and yes to a better future for us all!

www.socialiststudents.org.uk

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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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 16 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn's leadership victory; A new era for the 99%

NSSN rally calls for mass action to 'Kill the Bill!'

'Socialism is popular' confirms Lord Ashcroft

Ministry of Justice : Stop this privatisation scandal!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Refugee crisis: Imperialist countries bear major responsibility

Northern Ireland Executive crisis

Greek general election


Socialist Party workplace news

7 out of 8 victory for Doncaster council workers

Parliament protest against the anti-union bill

Support Teesside construction workers: Pay the rate!

Sports Direct's 'workhouse conditions'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight austerity in education!

Students join campaign for affordable housing!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Refugee Lives Matter - large turnout for demo

'Save our Island homes'

'Collectathon': Sell the Socialist; and donate!


Socialist Party feature

Twelve hours in the life of a carer


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Queen celebrates longest reign - let's make it the last!

Theatre review: 'An angry call for revolt'

Comedy review: Leopardoptera

Thoughts from the web


 

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Related links:

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triangleLondon Young Socialists & Socialist Students: We won't pay for the crisis with our futures

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triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

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Cardiff:

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triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Is socialism against 'human nature'?

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triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

Rents:

triangleAct now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

NUS:

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Accommodation:

triangleHomeless left on streets during pandemic

Fees:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can Corbyn's policies be implemented?

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