Housing

Don’t let the Tories recover!

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Editorial

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

Ian Duncan Smith resigned, demagogically spilling the truth that the Tories have been victimising the worst-off to benefit the rich. That was one of the side-products of the Tories’ splits over Europe, which have seen Tory right-wingers suddenly “discovering” that the NHS is underfunded and suggesting Britain’s EU budget contributions could fill the gap.

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

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Why UCL students are on rent strike

Kasandra Tomaszewska, a first-year University College London (UCL) history student, rent striker, and activist with the UCL Cut the Rent Campaign, spoke to Solidarity.


I got involved in the rent strike very randomly and late in the process. My roommate gave me some leaflets. I didn’t get very involved but thought “it is actually a very good idea, and if it starts I will join”. Then the rent strike started and I joined.

Kasandra Tomaszewska, a rent striker and activist with the UCL Cut the Rent Campaign, spoke to us.

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Affordable, available, assured: Homes for all!

Author: 

Editorial

Already, on average, in England, rent takes 43% of the income of households renting privately. (That’s 43% of average gross income of the main householder and partner including housing benefit, it’s 52% of income excluding HB).

The Tories are promoting a more unrestrained market in housing. As such markets generally do, it is producing polarisation.

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Landlords to be border cops

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

Renting rules introduced under Right to Rent at the beginning of February mean that landlords who let property in England will have to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration statuses to establish whether they have the right to be in the UK.

Landlords who let property in England will have to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration statuses to establish whether they have the right to be in the UK.

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Two wins against bedroom tax

Author: 

Dave Kirk

Two victories have been won in the Court of Appeal against the bedroom tax.

A woman who was a survivor of abuse from her ex-partner and had a panic room fitted by the police, and was then forced to pay the bedroom tax on it, won her case; so did Sue and Paul Rutherford, taxed for the spare room used to store equipment for their disabled grandson and to allow carers to stay over.

Two victories have been won in the Court of Appeal against the bedroom tax.

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Tory housing scandal

Author: 

Miles Kerin

On Tuesday 12 January, a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have ensured that all rented accommodation was suitable for living in, was defeated in the House of Commons by 312 votes to 219.

Local Government Minister, Marcus Jones, said the amendment would cause “unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords”. Tories don’t think landlords should be obliged to repair mouldy, damaged, unsafe or otherwise unsuitable housing.

A Labour amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have ensured that all rented accommodation was suitable for living in, was defeated in the House of Commons by 312 votes to 219.

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Fight to save social housing

Author: 

Jim Fraser

With the Housing Bill, and various associated ancillary legislation, the Tories have launched an all-out offensive to destroy social housing, especially council housing, once and for all.

With the Housing Bill, the Tories have launched an all-out offensive to destroy social housing, especially council housing, once and for all.

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Court victory for council estate

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By Mike Krane

On 24 November 2015, the High Court ruled in favour of the residents of the Cressingham Gardens Estate in Lambeth.

The court found the council offered insufficient proof that refurbishment rather than demolition would be too expensive, and forcing the council to reopen the consultation process.

Lambeth Council has saying since 2012 that it doesn’t have the money to make basic repairs and it would be cheaper to “redevelop” the estate’s 300 homes.

Cressingham Gardens, Lambeth saved from demolition

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Gentrificiation for all

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The capitalist housing market predominantly separates “nice” areas from “rough” areas. In the “nice” areas, people pay higher prices; bigger and posher houses and better shops and amenities and transport facilities are built. In the “rough” areas, only cheap and poor-quality housing is built; shops, amenities, and transport remain poor.

Our enemy is not better-off workers, or middle-class people, even snooty and annoying ones, and the answer is not to cordon off such people into homogeneously posh areas. The enemy is capital.

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Free Education: how will we win?

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

The u-turn on South African tuition fees gives us reason to be in good spirits as the UK student movement mobilises and sets outs its demands for a free, fully-funded, accessible education system.

With the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) national demonstration for free education and living grants on 4 November and the NUS-called student walk-out on 17 November, it’s worth asking: how will we win?

With the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts national demonstration for free education and living grants on 4 November and the NUS-called student walk-out on 17 November, it’s worth asking: how will we win?

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