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Thursday, 13 October 2011

private rents in 55% of local authorities unaffordable, demand decent affordable housing now

Just 12% of areas in England have affordable rents, research by housing charity Shelter found
Private rents are now unaffordable in 55% of local authorities in England, the housing charity Shelter has said.

Homes in these areas cost more than 35% of median average local take-home pay - the level considered unaffordable by Shelter's Private Rent Watch report.

The charity said 38% of families with children who rent privately have cut back on buying food to help pay rent.

Shelter's research found rents had risen at one-and-a-half times the rate of incomes in the 10 years up to 2007.

'Dramatic impact'

It said private rents in 8% of England's local authorities were "extremely unaffordable" - with average rents costing at least half of full-time take-home pay.

Just 12% of areas were affordable, it added.

Shelter analysed two-bedroom homes because they were so widely found and used Valuation Office Agency and Office for National Statistics data.



Average monthly rent for two-bedroom home in London is £1,360 - almost two-and-a-half times more than the rest of England
Kensington and Chelsea is the highest at £2,714 a month
Burnley in Lancashire the lowest at £394 a month
Oxford is the least affordable area outside London
Blackpool is the least affordable in north of England
Source: Shelter



It is high time we started to demand decent affordable housing for all. Not just a few or just for those who are in work like Ed Miliband likes to put forward. There is no reason why everyone shouldnt have a right to a decent affordable home for themselves. The fact that successive governments have turned a blind eye to this housing crisis is to their eternal shame. Even a labour government did not build nearly enough affordable homes in their time in government. With Ed Miliband coming out at his conference in support of Margret Thatchers right to buy scheme it shows where his and his parties priorities lay. Not with the working class.



We say :
§ Build a million affordable new homes to ease the housing crisis immediately.
§ Nationalise the construction industry, banks and financial institutions, under democratic workers' control and management.


then look to build more homes as the need is wanted. This will not only provide new decent affordable homes for ordinary people but will provide jobs in the construction industry which has seen its work hit as a lack of building projects as a result of the cuts. This could be just one way of getthing things moving again. Of course as socialists we'd want to go further but this would be a key first step and would make a big difference to many ordinary working class people today.

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