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Take housing off the market

Estimates put the value of Britain’s housing stock at more than £5 trillion – that’s five thousand billion. Yet the shortage of housing remains a pressing requirement for millions of workers.

The value of social housing (council and housing associations) is not known – but 10 years ago it was estimated at £400 billion. The government is intent on forcing through legislation to make councils sell their stock.

The right to a home and how the housing market works are a challenge to all workers, for their futures, for their families, for their dignity throughout all stages of life.

Market-controlled housing reduces this essential right to survival to one of how bricks and mortar, dead capital, bolster the accounts of banks, building societies, estate agents and speculators.

That’s why we have begun 2015 with a major investigation into housing and a call for new thinking around this issue

Building more houses is not the solution. The housing crisis can only be solved when housing is removed from the market and when workers define in a more radical manner how over £5 trillion of dead capital can be put to better use for society.

Planning is the first weapon workers need to defeat the anarchy of the market. We need to think through how to deploy resources and investment in an area like housing.

Such deployment is about abolishing homelessness and housing squalor and breaking away from the false notion that private home ownership is some form of superior democracy or society.

• See companion articles:

How to house Britain

And Johnson is calling us economically illiterate!