Brighton Houses
Brighton Houses

This week, the Labour Housing Group (LHG) and the Labour Campaign for Human Rights (LCHR) have published a joint report, called Housing is a Human Rightwhich has been welcomed by Brighton & Hove Labour Councillors.

Coincidentally, at Wednesday’s meeting of the Housing Committee, the Green administration is bringing forward a motion in support of rent controls.

Labour Councillors will be supporting the motion, and will continue to lobby government to grant local authorities the powers to put in place and enforce rent controls to tackle the housing crisis, and address the fundamental human right of safe, secure accommodation for all.

The Labour Party backs policies to make adequate housing a human right, end rough sleeping, end no-fault evictions, implement a massive increase in council and social homes, and give local authorities new powers to buy and develop land for housing.

Labour Councillors also continue to push for landlord licensing and the setting up of an ethical lettings agency in Brighton & Hove to support those in the private rental sector.

Cllr Gill Williams, Labour’s housing spokesperson, said:

 “The proposal on rent controls is timely and coincides neatly with the launch of Labour’s ‘Housing is a Human Right’ campaign.

“The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing from 2008 to 2014, Professor Raquel Rolnik, was forced to conclude that housing rights were being eroded across the board to the detriment of the most vulnerable.  Sadly, under successive Conservative Governments things have got much worse.

“The relevance of human rights to housing is painfully apparent to anyone with experience of those at the sharp end of our country’s housing crisis. Yet the right to housing and other social rights recognised in international law have not been incorporated into UK law.

“By reframing housing as a right rather than a commodity – homelessness, unfair evictions and unaffordable rents are not just poor social policies, they are also human rights violations.

“We must confront the gaping inequalities that scar our society though a rapid expansion in the supply of social housing and by implementing enforceable rent controls and better standards and security.

“Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has proposed an independent Private Sector Rent Commission, which would create and enforce measures to reduce rents and keep them at lower levels. It is clear that Brighton and Hove would benefit immensely from such a scheme.

“Rent controls and other measures are desperately needed so people can afford to live and work, to raise their families, and to retire, all without a fear of losing their homes.

“Britain has the sixth largest economy in the world; advanced economies have the necessary resources to ensure an adequate standard of living for everyone, including decent housing, and we should not tolerate anything less than that.

“I doubt the present Government will heed these calls, but Labour will. It’s time for a radical change not just of policy but a change of heart. Housing is and should be a human right.”

Photo credit: Creative Commons.

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