Why have Scotland’s politicians failed to solve our chronic housing crisis?

by Róisín McLaren – SSP national co-spokesperson

Few would deny Scotland faces a housing crisis which inflicts real hardship on hundreds of thousands of families every day. With 200,000 people on the housing waiting list, it will take them 20 years, at the current rate, to secure decent accommodation – since fewer than 1,000 new homes were built for rent in the public sector last year.

With the average price of a house now £200,000, it is well out of reach of most people – at eight times the average wage.

Meanwhile, the average rent in the private sector is £650/month – and that gets you little more than a small flat.

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Leading Irish Housing Campaigner to speak at Socialist Voice Housing Forum

Housing activists attending the Scottish Socialist Voice housing forum later this month will hear of Irish experience on the issue from leading Dublin activist Aisling Hedderman.

Aisling has been in the thick of the militant fight to address Ireland’s housing crisis, a campaign that has seen community activism, occupations and mass street demonstrations.

Much of the activity has been led by the National Homeless Housing Coalition (NHHC) which brings together political parties, Trade unions, NGOs, non profit organisations and grassroots community groups.

Aisling explain: “We have held demonstrations in order to highlight the issue and recently pushed a bill to be passed by the Dáil as NHHC worked in collaboration with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions under the banner of the Raise the Roof campaign in which saw over 10,000 people on the streets for a lunch time rally in October 2018.“

“To date this has been one of the biggest mobilisations for housing.

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Standing for top-quality housing

by Bill Bonnar

The Scottish Socialist Party believes that the only way to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis and to meet the long term housing needs of the people of Scotland is through a massive expansion of social housing.

Decades of government cuts in housing support to local authorities, combined with the fiscally ruinous right-to-buy policy, and a host of other capitalist measures have driven people into mortgage-based home ownership and the private rented sector. This has condemned hundreds of thousands of families to life sentences served out in dilapidated housing schemes.

Only by reversing these trends can we resolve the problems. The private sector has never been a solution; it is a large part of the problem.

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Download Scottish Socialist Voice Issue 423As the Liberal Democrats prepare to hold their annual UK conference in Glasgow, a mass protest against the hated Bedroom Tax plans to greet them.

In this issue, the Scottish Socialist Party’s Campbell Martin points out that in North Ayrshire alone, some 1,765 tenants facing higher rent charges – because they’re deemed to have a “spare room”

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