Decent housing for all – is that such an unrealistic demand?

Whether you are looking to buy or rent, it’s still far too difficult to afford a home.

That’s especially true for young people, those on low incomes and key workers providing essential public services – all of whom are already priced out of the housing market due to the under-availability of decent social and affordable housing. Unsurprisingly, that’s also causing a rise in the number of people living in poverty and in poor housing conditions due to spiralling private sector rents.

The Housing and Planning Bill – currently being debated in Parliament – will only worsen this crisis, as it does little or nothing to deal with this severe affordable and social housing shortage. Instead it will leave millions of people trapped in expensive, low quality, insecure, private rented sector accommodation.

That is why UNISON is supporting the “Kill The Housing Bill” campaign, calling for significant investment in building more homes of all types to alleviate the housing crisis, and for improvements to the Bill to ensure that genuinely affordable housing is protected to meet the housing needs of people on low to middle incomes.

A government that was serious about tackling the housing crisis would understand that what we face is a lack of supply, and start building the (at least) 200,000 homes a year we need. Such a government would invest in social housing – not plan “right to buy” sell offs that deplete crucial housing stock. And such a government would take seriously the lack of affordable housing in many parts of the country which drives up poverty makes many of our cities completely unaffordable for those struggling on low pay – whether they’re trying to buy, stuck in the private rented sector or (all too often) both.

That’s the message UNISON members and thousands of others will be sending this weekend when they march against the Housing Bill, and for decent housing for all.

In one of the world’s wealthiest countries, is that really such an unrealistic demand?

Kill the Housing Bill demo
Facebook event