Policy experts say housing must dominate Labour’s election manifesto
7.10.2014 ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
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The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) has today [Tuesday] released a paper by social policy experts Ines Newman and Prof Marjorie Mayo, calling for a labour government to put the housing crisis centre stage at the 2015 election.
The paper - Tackling the housing crisis: Alternatives to declining standards, displacement and dispossession - examines the underlying causes of the housing crisis by drawing upon original research, carried out in two inner London boroughs, to illustrate the impact of current housing policies.
The authors put forward several policies that must be developed at national and local government level if the housing crisis is to be tackled in the longer-term, which include:
- Rebalancing the economy to reduce demand pressure on London and the South East
- Prioritising housing investment over other infrastructure projects and committing to build 200,000 social rented homes each year and at least 100,000 private sector homes a year by the end of the next Parliament.
- Removing restrictions on local authority borrowing and using local authority pension funds to support a major increase in social housing.
- Introducing legislation to end the Right-to-Buy.
- Ending the affordable rents strategy and introducing a 5 year freeze on rent rises beyond inflation.
Ines Newman said:
“Displacement and dispossession in the South-East are increasing fears for poorer families suffering from the effects of austerity and welfare cuts. And in the North, poor-quality private rented homes, the bedroom tax and derelict empty houses undermine aspirations and economic recovery.
The lack of genuinely affordable, good-quality housing reduces opportunities and is affecting wider and wider sections of the population, especially in areas with the highest housing costs.”
Marjorie Mayo said:
“An incoming Labour government will need to put housing at the top of their agenda if the challenges of declining standards, displacement and dispossession are to be tackled. Decent housing is a right, and inequality of access to affordable housing is an injustice that a new government must remedy.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 by Unite the Union, GMB and the Institute of Employment Rights to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade Unions including ASLEF, CWU, FEU, GFTU, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, MU, NUM, BFAWU and UCU. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today. http://classonline.org.uk/about/panel
2. Marjorie Mayo is Emeritus Professor of Community Development at Goldsmiths, University of London where her research has included a focus upon learning for active citizenship, and access to justice in disadvantaged communities. Recent publications include Access to justice for disadvantaged communities (2014) (with G. Koessl, M. Scott and I. Slater). http://classonline.org.uk/about/panel/professor-marjorie-mayo
Ines Newman has a background in town planning and local economic development. She was Head of Policy at the Local Government Information Unit (1999-2007) and Principal Research Fellow, Local Government Centre, Warwick Business School (2007-2012). She is currently Visiting Senior Research Associate at De Montfort University. Her book, Reclaiming Local Democracy: A progressive future for local government, was published by Policy Press in May 2014. http://classonline.org.uk/about/authors/ines-newman
3. A copy of the paper can be found here: http://classonline.org.uk/pubs/item/tackling-the-housing-crisis
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