Campaigning on the Housing Crisis

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2022 Community Conference and Seminar
24 November 2021

Conference notes the publication in June 2021 of “A decent place to live”, a report commissioned by UNISON and produced by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) which identifies the shocking extent of the housing crisis in the UK and outlines a clear, positive vision for the future of affordable housing. This in-depth research identifies and lays out both the wide range of housing issues and how these issues play out across different areas in the UK, fully highlighting their complexity.

The report outlines some key recommendations including:

a. Investment in a new generation of council housing, at scale;

b. Maximising opportunities within that investment for green growth and green upskilling;

c. Re-empowering local authorities with meaningful control of planning;

d. Restoring the link between local housing allowance, housing benefit and rent;

e. To inject public sector led investment in social housing – new homes, that are green homes, and which generate spending in supply chains, jobs and reskilling displaced workers from industries that have either not survived the pandemic or are simply hanging on by a thread.

Conference further notes that the publication of this report is only one element of the union’s wider ranging Housing campaigning around the housing crisis working with key partners such as Generation Rent, The Affordable Housing Commission, Inside Housing’s End Cladding Scandal and Defend Council’s Homes for All Campaign.

Conference additionally notes the significant role that the social housing sector and Community members working within it contribute to delivering key housing services to the most vulnerable members of the community who are our tenants.

Community members in housing associations and charities delivering housing and support services have a crucial role to play in both informing and furthering this campaign. The future shape and funding of the sector is of crucial importance to security and employment and the terms and condition of work for our members affected.

Conference therefore instructs the Community Service Group Executive to:

1. Continue working with the National Executive Council (NEC), relevant service groups, Labour Link and other stakeholders including by lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Cymru/Wales and Northern Ireland to promote the recommendations contained in UNISON’s Housing Campaign and Manifesto.

2. Work with regions and branches to engage Housing Association members and Community members in this campaign and promote joint working with the Local Government service group to achieve its objectives.

3. Regularly highlight the campaign objectives to Community members via all appropriate media.