Tory government flouting human rights over Grenfell-style cladding

From The Observer: The Tory government is breaching fundamental obligations to protect its citizens’ right to life by failing to address the systemic problems that led to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the UK’s human rights watchdog has warned.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has written to the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG) outlining its concerns about the continued use of combustible cladding in existing buildings and advising the department of its responsibilities under human rights laws to protect lives.

The watchdog has yet to receive a response from the department, which in June launched a consultation into the use of cladding, believed to be a key factor in the Grenfell disaster.

The commission said it was concerned that the consultation omits any reference to the government’s duty to protect lives under article 2 of the European convention on human rights and schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

May’s £2bn housing pledge not enough, say Tory council leaders

From The Guardian: Theresa May is facing pressure from Conservative council leaders to invest more in low-cost rented homes, amid growing concern at local authority level that not enough is being done to fix Britain’s housing crisis.

The prime minister promised £2bn last year for a new generation of council houses and affordable homes for rent, but 71% of senior councillors from her party told a poll by Survation they were worried this would not be enough to meet the needs of their constituents.

Another report has found that parents are likely to be lending less money to help their children on to the property ladder this year, owing to constrained household budgets since the EU referendum.

Independent analysis suggests current construction of affordable housing falls short of the requirements by about 30,000 homes per year. Joseph Rowntree said it was calling on the government to deliver at least 80,000 low-cost rented homes a year in order to make the housing market work for more people.

Campbell Robb, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Homelessness and poverty should have no place in our society. However, right now millions of people are locked out of being able to achieve a decent standard of living due to crippling rents.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Tory ministers ‘refusing to pay for fire safety measures’ after Grenfell

From the Guardian: Councils have said the Tory government is failing to release funds to improve the fire safety of dozens of tower blocks following the Grenfell Tower disaster despite promising that a lack of financial resources should not stand in the way of essential works.

[Read full report on Guardian website…] 

Number of government-funded social homes falls by 97% since Conservatives took office

From The Independent: The number of new government-funded houses built for social rent each year has plummeted by 97 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010, official statistics have shown. In the same period the total number of affordable homes built with government money more than halved – from 55,909 to 27,792.

[Read full article on Independent website…]

Cladding for Grenfell Tower was cheaper, more flammable option

From The Guardian: Material used in the cladding that covered Grenfell Tower was the cheaper, more flammable version of the two available options, an investigation of the supply chain has confirmed.

Manufacturers Omnis had been asked [by Tory-run Kensington and Chelsea to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for “fire resistant” to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower.

Read more

‘Unforgivable’: local Labour MP vents fury over Grenfell Tower fire

From The Guardian: The residents of the Grenfell Tower block have been failed and betrayed by the Tory-controlled local council, the new Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, has said, expressing fury at the way Kensington and Chelsea treats its social housing tenants. Read more

7 reasons the Tories will never fix the housing crisis

From Radical Housing Network:

Seven reasons the Tories will never fix the housing crisis

7 REASONS THE TORIES WILL NEVER FIX THE HOUSING CRISIS. Want safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone? KICK OUT THE TORIES.Video by Harriet Vickers for RHN. #ukhousing

Posted by Radical Housing Network on Sunday, June 4, 2017

  1. The Tories say everyone should own their home… but who can afford to buy?
  2. Tory policies help the wealthy. To afford a starter home in London you need to be earning at least £70,000
  3. We could solve the crisis by building council housing… But the Tories won’t do this. Building council housing would save huge amounts of public money.
  4. Millions of us are stuck renting… One third of Tory MPs are landlords. So are they on the side of renters…?
  5. The Tories promise us affordable housing… but they are stopping councils from building it.
  6. The Tories are putting private profit over our need for homes. We don’t need more expensive flats. What we really need is planning regulation and public investment.
  7. Tory housing policy is all about enabling demand, not tackling supply.

“To solve the crisis, we need massive public investment. Not going to happen with the Tories. Want the housing crisis to go away? Kick out the Tories.”