By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Rent Controls - now a trade union wants government action

A trade union has called on the government to “look at all forms of rent control” as a way of combatting the cost of living crisis.

Paddy Lillis - the general secretary of USDAW, which represents shop workers and has some 360,000 members - says: “The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis. According to the housing charity Shelter, over a quarter of a million people are homeless, including 126,000 children and in total, 17.5m people are impacted by the housing emergency – living in overcrowded, dangerous, unstable or unaffordable housing.

“While there were some temporary protections in place during the Coronavirus pandemic, such as the increase in Universal Credit, the eviction ban and the 'Everyone In' scheme, this support was withdrawn immediately and as a result, far too many people are struggling to put a decent roof over their heads. This is something which is simply unacceptable.


“In a latest Scottish Government report, social sector housing accounted for just 28 per cent of all new build homes built during 2020. In England, over the same period, on 868 homes, or nine per cent of new builds were available for social rent. 

“Government cuts to local funding is stifling the ability of councils to build new homes and fuelling the housing crisis and whilst these decisions are made by the Tories in Westminster, it is working people right across the country who are paying the price.”


At its annual conference this week the union called on he government to build 145,000 homes that are “genuinely available and accessible to all working people each year for the next five years.” 

This should include 90,000 homes for social rent, providing those on low incomes with access to long term tenancies, in what the union calls ”quality controlled accommodation.”

It also wants first time buyers to be given exclusive rights to purchase new-build homes for the first six months after they become available as well as looking “at all forms of rent controls” and increasing the the proportion of affordable housing requirements on developers. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    Or the government could finally get control of illegal immigration and start building more council houses

    Just a thought

    Only 5% of the uk is built on , there are huge swathes of empty land in the uk It’s all utterly ridiculous

  • icon

    Maybe the union could build some homes and rent them on the cheap to their members, I'm sure they aren't short of money with all those members

  • girish mehta

    They should be fighting for decent living wage. Not playing politics .unions have not done for long time. Need to up their game and look after their members interest .


    The unions are like charities, their first interest is looking after themselves and the six figure salaries for those at the top.


    Like Andrew says, unions mainly look after their own officials.

    They destroyed our manufacturing base in the 70's and 80's and now mainly lurk in the dark corners of the public sector, still largely divorced from the real world.

    Most private sector employees know they're better off without them.

  • icon

    Hey Unions!
    Why not fight for your members rights to have decent pay? Enough to afford housing costs and living expenses.
    Also fight for more jobs in the energy and building sectors.
    Finally fight to ensure that when their members lose their jobs through illness, physical or mental.
    That there is enough money to pay all their living and housing costs and support for them and the landlord/lender. To stop them going into arrears.
    This should resolve 99% of the housing crisis.
    As for the incurable feckless 1%.
    Perhaps they can live in debtors work houses. Homelessness sorted.
    How about we all write letters to our MPs and leaders to implement this.
    I don't mean emails as they are too easily ignored.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up