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I’ve seen too many families kicked out of their homes. It’s why I despair about the tsunami of evictions that’s coming

17 94 105

Recently there have been growing calls in Britain for rent strikes, not least from Labour MPs and supporters, to combat the problem of people being unable to afford to keep up with the payments, either because they’ve lost their jobs or are on reduced wages due to the lockdown.

This actually makes my blood boil. Not because I have any sympathy with the landlords. Far from it. Let me explain why I’m so angry with it.

Since the 2008 banking crash, where hundreds of thousands of working class people around the world lost their homes to those very banks who caused the crash in the first place (how we let such a disgrace happen, I don’t know), rentier capitalism has thrived. This is not really capitalism at all – to own a property and then rent it out takes no skill, no business acumen, and no production – it takes money and a broken and skewed housing system and – boom – there you have it: one class that owns property and another one that doesn’t and needs somewhere to live.

Even a columnist for the capitalist’s favourite newspaper, The Financial Times, agrees with me on this point (which may be a first).

I have been researching housing and working class communities in the UK for more than 15 years, and it is clear that people do not live in private rented accommodation out of choice, but out of necessity. There is simply not enough social housing, where the rent is genuinely affordable, being provided for working class people in the UK.

Consequently, they have two choices. They can find a landlord that will let them a substandard property at what we call a social rent. These properties and landlords usually own hundreds of homes in poor places with few transport links, away from business, schools,........

© RT.com