Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Sunday 16 June 2024

My Pledge as a workers' MP for Chorley - End the Housing Crisis!

Chorley voters have been writing to me to ask that I pledge support for issues that are of particular concern to them. So that they are on the record for all voters, I am posting my response on some of the key issues here, on my blog:

Action to end the housing crisis is one of the key demands of our campaign to elect a workers' MP for Chorley who speaks up for homes and health, not war and privatisation.

Let me start by making clear that I am not just a candidate who makes these pledges at election time, I am a trade unionist and socialist who is actively campaigning on these issues. 

Martin campaigning in Chorley

Martin on a successful TUSC Council Lobby over Housing

I have been campaigning with South Lakes TUSC over the housing crisis, surveying people on our campaign stall about the solutions we are putting forward. All of our solutions were widely supported - but the demand to "build enough council homes for all" got the most backing of all:

And TUSC haven't just been talking about these issues - we act on them too. 

For example, in South Lakes, our pressure has been having an effect on local decision makers. As explained in this post, we lobbied the Council over the second of these priorities - ending the scam of supposedly "affordable homes" - and I was given the opportunity to address the planning committee on behalf of TUSC. 

I put forward our case in the Council Chamber, exposing the profiteering developer and pricking councillors' consciences on genuinely affordable homes. A deferral on a planning decision was passed, despite the pressure put on the councillors by council officers.

That was only a small victory but as a workers' MP for Chorley, I would have a platform to demand far more. I would speak up for urgent action to address homelessness and the lack of genuinely affordable housing, on behalf of those without secure housing and for the many renters and mortgage holders whose rising housing costs add significantly to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Our demands include:

  • Build council homes to meet need - for a mass building programme of high standard, eco-friendly, affordable council homes to tackle the housing crisis - take over empty properties - end 'right to buy'.
  • Ban no-fault evictions, secure tenancies for all.
  • Rent control that caps the level of rent. Fair rent decisions should be made by elected bodies of tenants, housing workers and representatives of trade unions.
  • Stop the scam of “affordable” homes – rent of 80% of local market rates is not affordable.  Affordable new homes to be rented at genuinely affordable social housing rents.
  • Immediately fund remedial measures for all unsafe homes and carry out the work required to insulate homes to address the climate crisis.
  • Ensure quality homes - Introduce compulsory licensing of all landlords. Take big homebuilders into democratic public ownership to ensure quality and safety.
  • For affordable mortgages – nationalise the banks to be run under democratic workers’ control and management.
Martin Powell-Davies
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidate for Chorley

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