Campaigners called for rent controls outside the Landlord and Letting Show at the Barbican in a protest organised by Newham and Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition groups.
With Tory MP and landlord Richard Benyon getting £635,000 from housing benefit in just one year, protesters called for rent caps instead of benefit caps.
Some landlords said it was fair that the ‘market decides’ rents and that ‘everyone needs to make a profit’. Millions of tenants struggling to pay the rent will disagree. One landlord said they needed to have enough money to afford to evict people!
TUSC campaigners call for:
• Rent controls – a cap on rents in the private sector to bring private rents in line with social housing
• Council-run, not for profit letting agencies
• Borough rent councils, made up of housing workers, tenants and local trade unions
• House building and renovation – campaign for the government to divert its private developer subsidy to a mass programme of building social housing. For councils to use reserves and borrowing powers to build and renovate public housing now
• Bring all housing association stock and housing services back in-house – privatisation has driven up costs
• Axe the bedroom tax and reverse all housing benefit cuts