Unions to vote on anti-right to buy campaign
Trade union members will vote tomorrow on whether to campaign to axe the right to buy and call for a new wave of social housing development.
A motion put forward by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians at the Trades Union Congress will call on the general council of the TUC to campaign for the government to scrap the right to buy on the grounds that it diminishes stock, and for a ‘massive increase’ in social house building.
The congress will vote tomorrow morning on the issues, which also include increasing investment in green technology and implementing procurement rules that require companies to train apprentices on social housing sites.
It also wants to scrap the affordable homes programme, which allows landlords to charge up to 80 per cent of market rent for homes.
‘Congress notes with dismay that since the election of the Conservative-led government, the number of affordable housing starts has fallen by 68 per cent, the number of families accepted as statutory homeless has increased by 14 per cent in 12 months and the number of families in bed and breakfast accommodation has risen by 44 per cent,’ the motion says.
‘Congress notes that an individual’s life chances, including their health, education and employment prospects, are seriously diminished if denied a decent home.’
What the motion demands
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:
- A massive increase in social house building to alleviate the growing housing crisis, reinvigorate the construction industry and kick-start the economy
- Increased investment in green building technologies, sustainable materials and carbon neutral housing
- An end to the right to buy which further diminishes existing social housing stock
- A reversal of the policy of linking rents to market levels replaced by social rents set at a rate that allows families to work and avoid dependency on benefits
- All new social house building to be linked to strict procurement rules requiring companies to train apprentices and directly employ workers under terms that guarantee industry employment standards.