UNISON has published a new briefing on the 2016 Housing and Planning Act, warning that it will have a severe impact on the provision of housing in England.
The union warns that the act’s focus on home ownership will reduce the amount of social and affordable housing available to ordinary working people, hitting general housing provision.
Many public service workers will be affected by the act, whether they are tenants forced to pay market rents or lose their social rented, tenants who lose secure tenancies, or staff who lose their jobs or see their pay, terms and conditions eroded.
More and more public service workers providing essential services are already renting in the private sector – often facing high rents with no security.
Some have to commute long distances because they cannot afford a decent home close to where they work – and UNISON says the act will make their situation worse.
“The act is a missed opportunity to tackle the housing crisis,” says UNISON assistant policy officer Sylvia Jones.
“Rather than offering holistic solutions to improve the housing market across all housing types, the act focuses on boosting home ownership at the expense of affordable and social housing, which the majority of people on average incomes need.
“The emphasis on home ownership means that those who currently cannot afford to rent or buy in the market are not supported by this legislation.”
UNISON will continue to campaign for more investment in social and affordable housing to ensure that those who are on modest incomes have access to a decent and affordable home.