Council housing

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As the current housing crisis goes from bad to worse, UNITE restates its strong commitment to the campaign to build a new generation of not-for-profit council houses as the only way to secure a quality housing stock at reasonable rents for working class families.

We warmly welcome Labour’s commitment to a progressive housing manifesto covering secure tenancies, allowing councils to borrow to build, a massive building programme of council housing and regulation of private rents.

We urge Labour to redefine “affordable rents” by devising a realistic formula in which housing costs are a genuinely affordable proportion of the real Living Wage. In London and elsewhere, current so called “affordable rents” are far beyond the reach of ordinary families.

Labour’s housing manifesto must also include:

• Ending the requirement for Council rents to rise to meet the private sector level.
• Ending the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which drives down the level of housing benefit payable.
• Ending the delays and complications with housing benefit and Universal Credit that are leading to rent default and eviction.

Additional note – The link below gives a brief explanation of the Housing benefit and LHA issues.