The Labour Party’s most recent strategy to house the poor was revealed today in the Leicester Mercury. One might guess that their new plan might simply involve meeting their promised commitment to build affordable Council houses… but this is not so.
Instead, the Leicester City Labour Council aim to meet the housing crisis by slashing their budget for homeless services, and by converting a (recently closed) homeless hostel into housing units!
According to the Mercury, “work could start on the conversion in July or August.” This is plain wrong; and what the Council should do, is renovate the Upper Tichborne Street hostel and reopen it to the ever-increasing number of homeless folk in town.
With the Labour Council refusing to promise not to evict anyone unable to pay the “bedroom tax” — which predominantly affects the disabled — a commitment to increasing homelessness seems to be the Council’s current housing policy.
By Labour’s own limited ambitions (made in 2008), they set themselves the immensely achievable target of building 1,280 new homes each year in Leicester, of which 790 were suggested to be affordable housing units.
Yet only 601 affordable housing units have being constructed since 2008, and the Council predicts “that no more than 300 houses will be completed between 2012 -2015.” They are thus admitting that only 150 affordable units have been built a year, and that they aim to reduce this to just 100 a year from now on.
In response to these shortfalls, Labour’s easy, yet brutal, solution is all too clear: attack the homeless to help the poor.
Fight back… join the Leicestershire Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation.. and come along to the Federation’s next meeting at Yessim Cafe (29 Narborough Road) on Thursday 16 May at 6pm.