UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 10 February 2012

200th anniversay of Dickens and squalid housing still prevalent in UK

It is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens and one has to wonder what the author would make of today’s housing conditions? In the fifth richest economy in the world the lives of 1.6 million children are still blighted by poor housing. The feedstock for poor housing is the demand for social housing that is not being met.

The bottom 10% of private rented sector homes have much higher levels of disrepair than the bottom 10% of either owner-occupier or social rented sector homes. Behind the statistics that means children living in cramped, damp, squalid conditions with fungi growing on the walls, leaking roofs and in the worse cases vermin infestations. http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/february_2012/tackle_rogue_landlords,_shelter_urges_government?appeal=1051300  

Poverty and the trap of too few social homes to rent has placed housing back to Dickens times. It is a timely reminder that UNISON should not concede ground on our national calls to build more council houses. If the supply of housing is left to private landlords this is the result. It is why council housing was developed in the first place.

Our Labour Link should be demanding the Labour Party commits to a mass house building programme of new council homes and drops the fanciful and irrelevant experiments of its New Labour past that have led us to this situation.

Anna Rose