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Harrogate Socialists and supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were campaigning in the town centre today for rent controls and a programme of council house building in the district.

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Harrogate’s housing crisis  

Almost 2000 people are on Harrogate’s council house waiting list and 60 households are in temporary accommodation. Harrogate Borough Council has built only 310 houses since 1980, while council housing stock has shrunk by 47% due to the right-to-buy legislation. Private sector rents continue to increase while the average house price in Harrogate is now 12.5 times higher than the average income.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!  

However, the response of the council to this housing crisis is to build a total of 2 new council houses! Harrogate Borough Council say this is a “pilot scheme” which “could see 50 new affordable homes being built on its land over the next few years” – not even enough homes to house the families currently in temporary accommodation!

Tory councillor Mike Chambers stated that “mighty oaks from little acorns grow” and is “hopeful” that “over the course of time” the council “will be able to provide new council housing across the district”! We presume that councillor Chambers is not on the council house waiting list or in temporary accommodation?

Vote Paul Viney on Thursday 7th May!

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Paul Viney is standing for TUSC in the High Harrogate ward in the Borough Council elections on Thursday 7th May. Paul is campaigning on the following policies to end Harrogate’s housing crisis:

  • Build council housing – use council reserves, underspends & affordable borrowing for a mass programme of council house building
  • Stop council house sell-offs – compulsory purchase powers should also be used on empty properties to create council housing
  • Cap rents – introduce a private sector rent cap. A compulsory register should be set up for private landlords
  • Establish a local rent council to determine fair levels of rent
  • Set up a council-run not-for-profit letting agency
  • Axe the bedroom tax – no evictions for rent arrears due to the tax or austerity cuts

If you would you like to help with Paul’s campaign for council housing and rent controls in Harrogate, please contact harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com

For a socialist perspective on housing, see the following article from The Socialist, the weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party:

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/20536/15-04-2015/we-can-end-the-housing-crisis  

Knaresborough Street Stall – Saturday 25th April

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Harrogate Socialists and TUSC supporters are holding a street stall in Knaresborough on Saturday 25th April. We are meeting at 12.00 at the Market Place. All welcome!

Harrogate Socialist Party – Branch Meeting, Tuesday 12th May

Our next meeting is Tuesday May 12th, starting 7.30 pm. The venue is the Stone Beck pub, Jenny Field Drive, Harrogate, HG3 2XQ. All welcome!

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