Branch Secretary : suz.muna.unite@gmail.com
  

Unite - fighting the housing crisis

Our union’s policies on housing look very different from any of the big parties. There is work to be done.

 

Unite decides policy through a democratic conference; branches like ours submit resolutions and elected delegates vote on them.  The policies cover workplace issues, international issues and political questions such as housing.  The union has published a 57 page summary which is available here: http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/Decisions%20of%20the%20Policy%20Conference%20201411-21375.pdf

 

There are many important policies for us including opposing pay restraint, building coordinated industrial action and fighting cuts.  There is also policy on housing.  Our members know the impact of austerity on housing as jobs are cut and pay and conditions attacked as well as seeing the impact on tenants and service users.  We also have to pay our own rent or mortgage of course!

 

The election campaign is building and people in Unite have been discussing what we are doing to get our voice heard on housing questions.  Unite’s housing policy places more emphasis on social housing and supports rent control for example, and it opposes austerity.  The previous conference committed the union to support bank nationalisation so they can be run to support socially necessary projects like house building instead of being run as publicly supported casinos.

 

This is how the national union summarises conference policy on housing:

 

Housing

 

Unite believes that the private sector cannot build affordable homes for working people in the number required.  We need public sector investment in new council house building on a massive scale as well as upgrading the existing council housing stock.

 

Unite is committed to:

 

Campaign for –

  • A massive injection of public investment into a council house building programme;
  • Requirements on Local Authorities to provide and maintain adequate levels of council housing at affordable rents;
  • An end to the right to buy scheme which only serves to remove good council homes from the overall council housing stock;
  • Rent controls and a cap on private rents to ensure they are affordable;
  • Registration/licensing of landlords in the private sector;
  • Security of tenure for all those living in rented accommodation;
  • An end to unfair housing benefit caps and other draconian benefits cuts such as the Bedroom Tax.

Council housing to be accessible to working people and not just the unemployed.

 

The document also says Unite is committed to:

 

  • Contact Labour groups in councils where individuals have voted against cuts and request that any disciplinary action being taken against those councillors is dropped;
  • Support Unite members who are Labour councillors who vote to oppose austerity and cuts;
  • Encourage other councillors who might consider voting against cuts to do so by pledging publicly to support them...

 

At one time the 'housing association movement' might have been expected to highlight housing need and campaign for more resources. Not now, we have reported that some big associations are seriously lobbying for full privatisation: http://www.housingworkers.org.uk/readnews.html?con_id=147  It is housing workers through Unite who will be making the case for social housing.

 

Our sector of the union is discussing how to make sure we pressurise politicians and get our voice heard in the election.  We need our own manifesto.  Look out for more material from the branch and come along to branch meetings to get stuck in to this campaign.

POST A COMMENT!

Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:


  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
Website
Comment
* field is required

NEWS ARCHIVE