The Labour Campaign for Council Housing has agreed to support ‘Enough is Enough‘ and encourage our members to participate in local groups. A lot of them have already signed up under their own steam.
Amongst the demands of EiE we are pleased to see support for housing policies that we have campaigned for successfully at the last two Labour conferences: 100,000 council homes a year and ending the scourge of Right to Buy. The housing section also touches on issues such as second homes and AirBnb which are becoming a major problem in more and more areas.
The campaign was initiated by the CWU, ACORN, Fans Supporting Foodbanks and the Right to Food Campaign. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has been prominent. Other unions have since signed up to it: ASLEF, FBU, UCU. To the surprise of the initiators more than 450,000 people have signed up for it. It is being built by local initiative, with local groups being set up around the country.
Posed as a campaign “to fight the cost of living crisis”, stopping the huge energy increases is obviously the most immediate aim, since it will impoverish millions of people. However, rent is a key component of the ‘cost of living crisis’. In its section on housing, EiE calls for rent controls. Four million ‘social housing’ tenants are facing the prospect of a double digit rent increase next April, whilst private landlords are profiteering, driving up rents beyond the current high inflation level. We have explained the need for this elsewhere (freeze the rent not the tenants).There is a growing call for a rent freeze to stop an increase in arrears and in evictions.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, has spoken about the need to develop campaigns for the various demands. Mick has spoken about his own experience growing up in council housing and the need for more of it. EiE if it develops into a mass movement can amplify the demand for a return to a large scale council house building programme and an end to Right to Buy. The housing crisis is worsening as private rents are driven up, increasing interest rates make a mortgage even more unaffordable and threaten the finances of many with ‘Help to Buy’ loans. In Cornwall, other coastal areas and some metropolitan areas second homes and AirBnB are making it impossible for local people to find places to rent. The life circumstances of many are made worse by the enrichment of profiteering landlords.
You can see the demands of EiE here.
We would be keen for you to keep us informed of EiE local groups in your area and the development of campaigning activity in your area in relation to rent or other housing issues.