by James Ivens, East London Socialist Party
Misery. That’s what renting in London means for millions. But with elections coming up, Londoners can push back against profiteering developers and politicians – by voting TUSC.
Overcrowding, dilapidation – even slum conditions for many poorer workers. Is it any wonder Covid ripped through working-class neighbourhoods like the Great Fire of 1666?
It’s workers, not London’s super-rich socialites, who have kept the city running at the cost of their own wellbeing. But now over one in seven private renters is in rent arrears, says Citizens Advice. Some even face threats of eviction.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) says: never again! TUSC is an anti-cuts electoral alliance including transport union RMT, the Socialist Party, and others. In the London elections on 6 May, TUSC is standing to cancel the debts.
All rent debt accrued during the pandemic must be dropped. This includes claims like the belligerent case against refugee campaigner Lawanaya Ramajeyam for a room she’d already left!
Small landlords can receive compensation based on proven need – but make the big landlords and banks cough up! Economic evictions must be banned.
And what about London’s money-for-nothing rent racket itself? TUSC says enough with extortion for mouldy matchbox homes. For democratic controls on rents, with compulsory landlord registration and quality checks. Fire safety for all now — bill the government!
Council Homes for All!
And why should parasitic developers hoard the housing supply at all? TUSC says: Stop the land grab. London’s Labour mayor and councils are flogging every last scrap. We stand for building council homes for all, and 100% council housing on public land.
Each vote for TUSC on Thursday 6 May is a warning shot across the privateers’ bows. But that’s not the end of the fight. Tenants can take a leaf from the Covid students’ books – rent strikes showed that action gets results.
In the run-up to the election, housing activists have called a day of action on Saturday 17 April. Socialist Party branches will be campaigning on housing across the capital. And we’ll be joining the march from the Boundary Estate, London’s first social housing scheme, at 1pm.