As property experts Zoopla declared Bristol as the second most expensive area to buy a property in the UK, Bristol Trades Union Council were out in the pouring rain on 15th December 2018 to raise awareness about the areas housing crisis and campaigning for secure and affordable housing for everyone.
Bristol TUC said that Bristol and South Gloucestershire are expensive places to live with typical house prices more than 10 times the average salary with high rents in the rental sector.
They said that there are 15,000 households on the waiting list with just a handful of properties waiting for tenants and pointed out that there are up to 200 lived-in vehicles on Bristol’s streets with other homeless people couch surfing or living on the streets.
In handing out leaflets to the shoppers in the Bedminster area of the city they presented the case to stop rogue landlords ripping-off desperate renters and for housing prices to be affordable, so people can choose what type of home they’d like for their family, as well as choosing where to settle.
They were also calling on the local councils of Bristol and South Gloucestershire to build 1,400 council homes a year and for the definition of “affordable” to be based on average wages not market rate with rent controls that relate to earnings not scarcity of housing. The trade unionists also demanded the end of the “Right to Buy” in council and social housing.
The campaigners from RMT, Unite, PCS and NEU/NUT also demanded that local councils be given the powers to take control of, or compulsory purchase unoccupied properties or land.