Jamie Cocozza

party: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
constituency: Glasgow North East

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Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

TUSC demands rent control now! Insufficient council housing and inflated house prices force people looking for somewhere to live into private rented accommodation. But just 39% of all new homes built in London in 2013 were bought to live in. The other 61% were bought by investors wanting to rent to tenants. Private landlords make a pretty penny out of this. In addition, rents have been rising faster than inflation for some time. In London, private tenants on average pay half their pre-tax income in rent. More and more working people rely on housing benefit due to poverty pay. And this is not even to mention the growing tragedy of homelessness.

It all adds up to working class people - especially the young and most disadvantaged in society - being priced out of communities and a dignified standard of living. Renters are starting to fight back. Campaigns have sprung up all around the country, defending council homes from sell-off and campaigning for a better deal in private tenancies.

Democratic rent councils should decide fair rents in every area and stop landlords overcharging tenants. If elected I would also campaign for the 1977 Rent Act to be rehabilitated and extended to all tenancies in the private sector, giving security of tenancy, succession rights, rent regulation and rent councils.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

The fact private sector landlords receive over £27bn in housing benefit and tax breaks is a scandal and is indicative of the attitude the mainstream parties have towards social housing and a living wage. It is no coincidence that one third of the council homes sold off through Right To Buy have ended up in the hands of private landlords, some of whom have links to the Tories and will benefit directly from these government-funded subsidies. Housing benefit is a subsidy to cover up the lack of a decent living wage.

TUSC calls for an immediate wage of £10 an hour with no exemptions; this would not only remove millions of workers out of in-work poverty, but also remove the need for housing benefit and other in-work benefits such as tax credits. TUSC also calls for a mass council house building programme to solve the problem of one million families on housing waiting lists and the democratic nationalisation of the large house building companies.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

House prices are too high, caused by the policies of successive governments: commitment to increasing inequality, slavish devotion to the free-market, focus on home ownership rather than social housing, Right to Buy, an influx of cheap credit, incessant pushing of unaffordable mortgages, dubious financial deals with property developers at a council level and, latterly, the Help To Buy scheme. This has been exacerbated by a crisis where the most profitable avenue for the super-rich to inflate the wealth of their assets has been to pump money into property, particularly in London. This has had a devastating effect on not just increasing house prices way above inflation, but on working class communities who are being priced out of many areas and even forced into moving away from their community.

TUSC calls for a mass programme of social housing and the democratic nationalisation of the major property building companies who sit on enough brownfield land to build 1.4m homes.