The number of private renters all over England has risen from 11% to 28% since 2001.

Why has this happened? Because successive governments since Thatcher have turned social housing into crisis housing. People have been forced into the private sector to be exploited by landlords and agents alike. The stock is there. We need a radical rethink on how we used it. Like a licensing for landlords, so unscrupulous landlords can be banned from exploiting people and renting slums. Like rent control, so rents are kept in the reach of average incomes. Like a ten or fifteen year tenancy agreement, so people can put down roots without worrying about having to move in six months or a year. I have the feeling even that wouldn’t be enough. So we need to come up with even more radical solutions. Like forcing people and companies who “ghost” homes to rent them or face massive fines. Like stopping multiple home ownership. Like restricting home ownership to British citizens. Like enshrining in law a citizens right to a decent place to live. The wealth is there. Have it used for the good of the many not the befit of the few.

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