UNISON calls on the government to address housing crisis

The nation faces a desperate housing crisis. We need to build at least 250,000 homes per year to meet housing demand but less than half the homes we need are being built.

The acute shortage of housing – particularly social and affordable housing – has led to spiralling rents and house prices across the nation causing an affordability crisis – especially for young people and families on low to middle incomes who struggle to afford to rent or buy a decent home. As a result there is an increase in overcrowding, evictions, rent arrears and homelessness.

UNISON is calling on the government to address the housing crisis by taking urgent action to invest in a national house building programme to increase the supply of all types of housing, particularly social and affordable housing provided by councils and housing associations.

UNISON is campaigning for more housing that is affordable for our members, their families, key workers and citizens.

The union is concerned about the housing crisis the nation faces. We are particularly worried about the dramatic reduction in the supply of housing, especially social housing; the lack of effective regulation in the private rented sector; the high costs of renting and homeownership; and the effects of cuts to housing benefit on vulnerable people who struggle to meet their housing costs.

Government policies such as the Affordable Housing Programme which now focuses on the development of new ‘affordable’ homes at 80% of market rents, which are not actually affordable and the Right to Buy have dramatically shrunk the social housing stock.

We are concerned that Government plans to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants in England will further reduce the number of social housing available, worsen the housing crisis and threaten the financial viability of housing associations. 

That is why UNISON is campaigning for urgent Government action to deliver more social and affordable housing, which thousands of people on low to middle incomes depend on.