by Abigail Harrington, West London Socialist Party
On 18 October, 60 people attended a London Socialist Party public meeting to address the housing crisis. This coincided with a last-minute vigil for those affected by the air strike on a hospital in Gaza, which we attended before the meeting. This prompted discussions linking the housing crisis to the Israeli-Gaza conflict, a matter of significant concern.
Speakers included Nandi from Socialist Students; Linda from the Walthamstow Save our Square campaign; Hannah Sell, Socialist Party general secretary; Jasper from Hounslow; Hugo from Tower Hamlets and Ferdy from Newham. They spoke about the challenges of renting and of individuals who faced eviction from properties. And Socialist Party members talked about our campaigns against the crisis.
The government has failed to provide shelter for the homeless, inadequate protection for renters against mould and substandard living conditions, and an an insufficient amount of social housing, especially council housing. Additionally, it was highlighted that corporate housing companies are constructing homes that pose safety risks. There was also emphasis on the many opulent residences in London, owned by billionaires, which remain unoccupied.
The Socialist Party calls for rent control and a mass council house building programme to fight to end the housing crisis.
The planned protest by the Socialist Party in London against the housing crisis set to take place on Saturday 28 October has been postponed due to a Gaza solidarity protest taking place at the same time.