The Socialist Party has called for rent controls, compulsory control of private landlords and the nationalisation of house builders.
It argues that no mainstream political party, including Labour, has pledged to clamp down on the rising cost of renting, the record levels of illegal evictions by landlords which rarely result in a conviction, and the more than twice as many long-term empty homes as homeless families and children living in temporary accommodation.
“While more and more ordinary working people and families live in fear of losing their homes, big landlords and the rich get away scot-free pretty much every time,” says Theo Sharieff, of the South East London Socialist Party.
“Landlords feel confident to act with impunity because all the main political parties in Britain are wedded to the ‘profit before us’ system of capitalism, and fundamentally back them.”
Councils have the legal powers to take on landlords who make the lives of millions a misery, adds Sharieff.
“Councils could not only introduce rent controls in council properties, but also compulsorily register all landlords and force them to take action on sub-standard living conditions. Any landlords who didn’t comply could have their properties put up for compulsory purchase.”
Although the country needs a mass programme of genuinely affordable council housebuilding, the Labour leadership has excluded investing in the building of new houses, he explains. None of the establishment parties has seriously challenged the historic council house sell-off either.
“That’s why we need to fight to transform society along socialist lines, starting with taking the construction company giants, banks, and other companies which dominate the economy into democratic public ownership to ensure all working class and young people have access to high-quality and genuinely affordable housing all our lives.”
Pic credit: Socialist Party