London Housing Crisis

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2018 Community Service Group Conference
23 February 2018

London Housing Crisis: Response to the UNISON Survey Report – No Place To Live – into the impact of Housing costs on London’s public service workers.

This conference welcomes the publication in late November 2017 of UNISON’s Report into the impact of Housing costs on London’s public service workers. We are dismayed but not surprised at its findings:

a. 63% of respondents said that they are paying over 30% of their income on rental costs, a figure that rises to 82% for those in the private renting sector.

b. 62% of responders state that they are looking to live outside of London due to the high cost of housing.

c. Estimates of a need for 50,000 to 80,000 homes to be built per year are required to keep up with increasing levels of population growth.

d. Respondents want the government to take action on the increasing cost of housing. They support rent controls in the private sector and the building of new council and housing association homes at truly affordable rents.

The increasing cost of housing, particularly in the London region, is currently unsustainable and as a result we risk losing key workers that provide our essential community services. Many of our members who work in the community and voluntary sector, and particularly in the care and support services, are earning in the region of £1,500 before tax per month and with the average monthly cost of a flat in Hackney being £1,300, they are struggling to find affordable accommodation.

The report also highlighted the fact that access to good quality affordable housing is not only essential for providing shelter but is also a prerequisite for good family mental and physical health.

Therefore, this Conference calls on the Community Service Group Executive to:

1. Work with Labour Link to encourage London Mayor Sadiq Khan to introduce a true affordability test as laid out in the introduction to the report and ensure that a large percentage of new homes built are made available at truly affordable rates, especially for those in the London region.

2. Create a report for regional and national executives highlighting the percentage of Housing Associations housing stock that is currently available at “affordable” rent. Work with local community groups to campaign against those that have a low percentage rate of affordable homes.

3. Highlight the increased need for housing associations to build and make available affordable homes.

4. Support the idea of borough wide licencing programmes for private landlords to ensure security of tenure and accommodation standards are fit for purpose.