Women and Housing

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2015 National Women's Conference
13 October 2014

Conference is deeply concerned at the impact of the rising cost of housing on UNISON members, particularly for those living in private rented accommodation.

Recent research found that spiraling rental costs and stagnant wage growth mean 1.6million households are forced to spend more than half their disposable income on housing – and single women, particularly those from low and middle income brackets, are among the worst affected.

The combination of low and frozen pay; reduction of housing benefits; the so-called bedroom tax and the lack of affordable housing to buy and rent has contributed to this situation.

As a consequence, many women are being forced into shared accommodation, which is frequently unsuitable and may increase the vulnerability of women and their children.

Conference therefore calls upon the national women’s committee to work with the NEC and Labour Link to:

1) Campaign to abolish the bedroom tax;

2) Campaign for a national local authority house building programme, and more local authority housing provision;

3) Provide advice and assistance for UNISON members who wish to report sub-standard housing without repercussions.