forced out? a Youth fight for Jobs & education campaign
cHanges in London
couLd force tHere are
in over 50% 200,000 out 70,468
of London of London emptY
over 50% of
average 32% increase tuesday 17 th
in tHe numBer april
Young peopLe 7.00pm
7 Years in London in
London, w treet
in uK Last Year
by unite HY
Housing w 1
a s young people we are suffering as a
result of government cuts. We feel it in
every aspect of our lives: access to education,
mean that our access to a home of our own is The future we are looking at, if nothing is
under serious threat – unless we fight back! done to stop the Con-Dem axe, is one where
young people face over-crowded, squalid
or student debt; access to public services we Rents in some London boroughs are sky- housing and starvation rent levels or are
need, such as health care; access to decent rocketing because of the Olympics. House forced out of London.
jobs, of course; and living costs such as food,prices across the capital have bucked the
transport, everything go up and up…the list national trend and continue to rise. But banks
goes on and on. won’t look at young people when it comes
to mortgages and most of us can’t rely on
we are launching this campaign to
But when we look for somewhere to live we ‘bank of mum and dad’! And the onslaught on
bring together the forces that can
really feel it – and the Con-Dems’ plans could benefits means that support is crumbling…
prevent this nightmare scenario –
young people and the trade unions.
Can’t buy, can’t rent, can’
contracts saying tenants have to be away further reducing the desperately short
High prices for the Olympic month. supply of council housing on top of the
1.5m council properties that have been
In Britain buying your own home is seen
Shelter said “It’s a strong possibility that a taken out of the system since 1979.
as proof of success but London’s young
large number of east London tenants may
people have become ‘generation rent’.
face eviction, rent hikes and losing their
This is not through any fault of ours
homes as a result of the Olympics.” • Reopen and renovate the thousands
but because of the combination of high
what we say:
property prices, low wages and nervous of empty properties in the UK as
banks. good quality council housing - no
In London the average age of a first time more waste!
buyer is 32, three years older than the • Create jobs.
national average. Findaproperty.com • There should be a mass council
has found that first time buyers with no house building programme to solve
parental financial assistance in London the enormous shortage that exists in
were likely to rent for 31 years! That’s affordable housing.
• Stop privatisation - no to the selling
almost twice the average in England.
off of council housing.
• Renationalise sold-off housing stock.
• Offer to buy back ‘right to buy’
properties that people can no longer
afford- offering affordable rents.
Monthly rent on a two bedroom flat in Tower
£28,770 £1,400 pcm £32,500 pcm
Hamlets or Hackney would normally be
about £1,400. However, properties are being
advertised for the games at up to £7,500 a Quality
£9,865 week. Metro
• Councils should set up hotlines
what we say:
and enforcement officers to report
and tackle rogue landlords who are
trying to force tenants out during the
Prices have soared. In 2000 a first time buyer
needed a deposit of £9,865, 14% of the price. Olympic period.
In 2010 £28,770 was demanded, 21%. • After the Olympics, the infrastructure
should be used to benefit the low-
There’s no choice for many of us but to
paid and young. Including the
rent. But London rents are also escalating Olympic village to provide affordable
rapidly. In October 2011 the average rent housing and pools and areas opened
for a two-bedroom flat was almost two for public use with low costs.
and a half times the average in the rest of
the country. But price does not guarantee
quality. council Housing
The most common new three-bedroom house
was found to have 77% of the recommended
• Rents should be capped at an minimum space - a shortfall equivalent to two
what we say: what it is & how young
affordable level. Councils to check on double bedrooms.
people can’t get it.
this. Council housing is affordable housing
• Councils and the government should provided by the government and local
build affordable housing. The RIBA (Royal Institute of British
councils. When council housing was built
• Banks and building giants should be Architects) recently slammed new house
in the post-war period, it lifted millions of
forced to provide cheap, no or low projects saying that many new houses in
working people out of poverty and slum
interest mortgages. When they refuse the UK are “shameful shoebox homes”
housing. which are too small for family life.
we demand they should be fully
nationalised and run them to meet There is a huge lack of council housing.
social need. If the new housing that is built continues
Very little council housing has been built to put profit above size and quality we will
• People should be offered the over the last 20 years. The average wait
opportunity for mortgages to turn see housing become reminiscent of the
on the council housing lists is almost 7 pre-war over-crowded slums of the past.
into affordable rents. years. House building in London was at
an 83 year low in 2010 and Boris Johnson
has presided over just 56 new starts of
olympics affordable housing in London between • That the provision of housing is high
what we say:
Oct-Dec. 2011. quality as well as affordable.
The Olympics have already and will The Government have pledged £400m for • No shortcuts in new buildings.
continue to be a nightmare for renters the building of new homes. But last year Legislation to prevent developers
in East London. Increasing reports say they cut £4billion from the building fund! building tiny cramped houses.
that people are being forced to move • All new council housing should meet
during the month or face rent increases This limited investment is coupled with the minimum recommended space
and clauses are being written into new an increase in the ‘right to buy’ discounts, requirements.
’t take it? ...Join the fightback!
those areas from Central London. They in
Huge rents -But Housing Benefit fact see it as an opportunity to put rents
There are also massive knock-on effects
Low pay! attacked
The attacks on Housing Benefit will have a that these changes will have on local
Young people face chronic low pay,
devastating effect not just on poor but on services as people move. There will be
lower minimum wages, worse terms
families and young workers too. increasing pressure on local services.
and conditions, unpaid internships and
soaring unemployment. The Housing Benefit cuts overall add up
to £2.4billion. This is a drop in the ocean
when compared to the cost of bailing out
the banks at £850billion or even that
Vodafone alone was let off a tax bill of
The benefit cap, the changes to the
In Hammersmith & Fulham the Children’s
Single Accommodation Rate for young Services department said that 10% of primary
people and the changes in how benefits schools (and 5% of secondary school pupils)
are calculated will force hundreds of will ‘potentially’ be affected by the changes.
thousands to move as the gap between
their rent and benefits grow.
The government’s own figures show • All housing and housing benefit cuts
what we say:
that nationally 88,000 young people will should be reversed.
be affected by the changes to the Single • Labour councils should refuse to
In more than half of London boroughs Accommodation Rate. Young people will implement the cuts and set up rent
Londoners spend over 50% of their incomes controls.
on housing. instead be expected to find a cheaper
option, most likely in a shared house. • No age discrimation in benefit
entitlement. Young people don’t have
At the same time private rents are soaring lower rent and bills so we shouldn’t
However more than 70% of local
meaning a bigger and bigger proportion have lower benefits!
authorities have said that they have no
of what we earn is spent on rent and other shared accommodation private sector
housing costs. On top of extortionate
provision for young people despite this
rents, few are able to get their foot on Homelessness
being the only option for young people.
the housing ladder because banks won’t Homelessness has risen 17% in the last
Reports also show that this kind of
give mortgages to low earners in the year, that’s another 200,000 registered as
accommodation is in desperately short
current economic climate and many are homeless.
supply in many areas and even where it
reportedly asking for deposits of 40% of does exist there is a resistance (to say the
the property value. In London it is even higher, there has
least) on behalf of private sector landlords
to deal with young people claiming been a 32% increase in the number of
While we face these attacks and further benefits. young people sleeping rough in the last
cuts, leading more and more of us to 12 months and it is unsurprising that in
struggle to make ends meet, the bosses’ Haringey, the borough where the riots
that caused this crisis have seen their began, homelessness applications have
bonuses go up by 187% since 2002! risen by 83% in the last year!
The myth that bosses and bankers have At the same time there are savage attacks
earned their keep and benefit the economy on the services that exist to help homeless
has been shown to be lies; whilst bankers people.
cost the rest of us £8.40 for every £1 they
produce, hospital cleaners on £6.26 an The rise in homelessness is one of the most
hour are worth £10 for every £1 they cost damning indictments of this government
because they prevent superbugs, saving showing that it is failing to provide the
the economy a fortune! most basic standard of living to people in
the 7th richest country in the world.
Claimants are often labelled scroungers but
• A mass house building programme in reality Housing Benefit bypasses the tenant
what we say:
going straight to the landlord.
and renovation scheme should
be used to create jobs and The government’s answer is to insist that
apprenticeships on trade union pay cutting Housing Benefit levels will cause
rates, that can alleviate the current landlords to reduce what they charge. But
crisis. predictably, most landlords are saying 1 in 4 people fear being made homeless.
• A living minimum wage for all - no the opposite. In Barking & Dagenham
lower youth rates. and other cheaper areas around London
• Reverse all job cuts. We didn’t cause landlords are anticipating that the Housing • No cuts to homelessness services.
what we say:
the crisis, we shouldn’t have to pay Benefit changes will actually create • Councils take over and reopen empty
for it with job cuts. greater demand as people are forced into properties as affordable housing.
... but we can fight
back! what can we do?
We will be organising across London to fight back against the attacks
on the right to a decent home. Get involved in the campaign! Use the
contact details below.
charge, c) Builds more Council
• Talk to your friends about the housing etc.
There is a rich history of successful
• Find out how many signatures
campaigns and protests we can learn from. • Leaflet your workplace. you need to get the council
In 1915 a month-long rent strike of 30,000 to debate your petition and
people in Glasgow took on the money- • Pass a motion at your trade organise a protest outside the
grabbing landlords and won rent freezes
union branch in support of the next council meeting.
from the government.
campaign (contact Youth Fight
In the 1980s in Liverpool a Militant led for Jobs for a model motion). • Use Facebook and Twitter to
council (forerunner to the Socialist Party) publicise the campaign widely.
took on Thatcher’s Tory government and • Organise a meeting in your Use hashtags!
refused to implement cuts. Instead they
work place to discuss a Follow @youthfight4jobs
took the tories on with a mass campaign
campaign. Facebook: Youth Fight for Jobs
of workers, young people and families,
and won. They were able to rehouse 6,300
families from tenements and flats, built take action:
4,800 houses and bungalows, improved • Occupy a luxury flat in one
Build the campaign:
7,400 houses and flats and lots more.
• Link up with trade unions of the many new housing
In subsequent years the government tried locally about getting involved developments that charge
to bring in the Poll Tax. A vicious tax that and organising the campaign. extortionate rents to highlight
meant that a millionaire would pay the the issue.
same as a nurse. A mass campaign of non- • Use Unite the Union’s
payment was organised and 18million
people refused to pay making the tax
community membership • Do a stunt around an Olympic
unworkable. It was scrapped which led to scheme to help link up young venue; ‘a race to the bottom’ or
the downfall of Thatcher herself. people and students with the ‘climb the housing ladder’...
Trade Union movement.
In the US today where almost 11 million • Protest outside empty flats,
Americans owe more than their homes • Petiton to demand your outside companies that control
are worth and where there are 24 empty
houses for every homeless American, local council: a) Makes no empty properties like the
people are occupying houses across the cuts to Housing Benefit, b) Met Police who have spent
country in protest at this disgusting waste. Has a review of the private £105,548 securing their 99
rents rates in your borough empty properties 50% of which
These examples all show that if we demanding they introduce a have been empty for over a
organise and fight back we can beat this
cap on how much landlords can year!
who are Youth fight for Jobs?
Youth Fight for Jobs is a campaigning organisation bringing together young people,
students and trade unionists to fight against the ConDem austerity agenda. We launched
in 2009 in response to rising levels of youth unemployment. Since then things have gone
from bad to worse for young people. Youth unemployment stands at over 1 million.
EMA has been scrapped and fees have trebled. House prices and rents in London, like
food priced and bills go up and up. And youth services have been smashed by the
ConDemolition wrecking ball.
We say that we won’t pay for the bosses’ crisis. We call for a massive fight-back. We fight
for a society that is run by and for the 99% not the 1%. We struggle for a society that
can offer decent jobs, pay and conditions. We call for a socialist alternative to the crisis
ridden capitalist system.
If you want to fight for your future, join us!
to get involved contact Youth fight for Jobs:
text: Housing, & Your name to 07716610893
Email: Youthfightforjobs@gmail.com figHtBacK!