A home is a basic human need, ranking alongside sleep and food, as an essential to sustain life. In modern societies a decent and secure place to live improves educational attainment, leads to a healthier and longer life, and is needed to access many public services. Yet throughout the history of capitalism the system has never been able to provide decent and secure housing for all in our society.
PBP’s housing policy is based on a simple premise that everyone in our society requires a decent and secure place to live, irrespective of their income. Housing should be treated as a universal public service the same as health and education. Based on the experience of previous generations and internationally, the most effective way to deliver a decent secure home, based on need, is through public housing.
Modern environmentally friendly building techniques, innovative design with occupants at its heart, flexible living spaces to accommodate changing family-sizes are all evident in public housing examples across Europe – such as the award winning design of Norwich City Council housing and the New Municipal Dwellings programme in Vienna. We can learn from this best practice.
Here we set out our key policy proposals and in the sections below we go into more detail on how we can achieve a housing system on the island of Ireland that provides safe, decent and secure housing for all:
- Renew and revitalise public home building on public land – keep existing public land in public ownership
- Fund and empower local government and the Northern Irish Housing Executive to increase their stock of public housing and public land
- Abolish the income threshold limits to make public housing available to more people on a broad range of incomes with rents set at a percentage of take home pay
- Establish a scheme that enables public housing tenants to move between and within developments based on their accommodation requirements at different life stages
- Establish a system of housing planning and construction that ensures adequate supply for those with particular housing needs such as those with a disability, those fleeing war or abuse.
- Provide for an affordable purchase scheme within the public housing system where the unit can only be sold back to the local authority or public housing body from which it was purchased
- Create and fund a state building company to retrofit and refurbish all public homes so that they meet new energy efficiency standards – create a system of training and recruitment delivered through the state building company and under local authority or public housing bodies
- Establish greater controls in the building industry including building standards, rights for construction workers and certification
- Reform planning to ensure democratic engagement by communities in sustainable development – make it a statutory requirement that community amenities including educational, transport, economic, green space and civic/cultural centres be mandated and front loaded in all new development – enforce Passivhaus and design quality standards – all development must have regard to the challenges of climate change and higher density living
- Establish a new Rental Board that will represent all tenants (public and private) – extend security of tenure and maintenance/dwelling standard rights for tenants and introduce a system of rent setting and control – encourage tenant unionisation – extend tenancy rights to all tenants including students
- Establish an Independent National Traveller Housing Agency to oversee the delivery of culturally appropriate Traveller accommodation
- End corporatisation of housing system – bring the dwellings owned by corporate landlords into public ownership – revoke all legislation that allows vulture funds, REITs, build to rent corporate landlords and other special purpose vehicles to operate in the Irish housing market.
- Establish and maintain registers of vacant and /or derelict sites and unused dwellings and give powers to local authorities and public housing bodies to enforce penalties and compulsory purchase orders
- Establish landlord, land value, speculation and windfall taxes – introduce a static income tax on income earned from property rental in the private residential market
The Irish Context
If you are poor or on a low-income then securing housing is always a struggle. However, the past twenty years has shown that with the exception of big developers and finance providers, our housing system is dysfunctional for all, with:
- excessive and unaffordable rents for those in the private-rented sector,
- evictions, in many cases illegal, a regular occurrence across the island,
- homelessness among families at a record high,
- waiting lists times for social housing, north and south, standing at years, almost decades in some cases and increasing,
- lack of affordable housing for young people resulting in one of the highest levels of 16-29 year olds still living with parents in the EU,
- growing levels of private renters among older age-groups leading to an emerging housing crisis for the next generation of pensioners,
- exorbitant house prices making home ownership impossible,
- windfall profits by land speculators and construction finance providers.
In the South we have had the Celtic Tiger construction boom and bust, leading to the banks and developers being bailed out by the state – only for the whole process of excessive rents and prices to start all over again. In February 2020, there were over 10,000 people (including 3,534 children) homeless and accessing emergency accommodation.
In the North the housing system is no less dysfunctional, with a massive housing price and construction bubble exploding after the 2008 crisis, but this has not been followed by a return to excessive rent and price rises. Yet the low level of new social house-building means that over the five years up to and including 2019, there has been a 60 per cent increase in homeless applications.
The Housing Problem
The root of the housing problem lies in the very nature of capitalism that sees a home as a commodity, something that is to be bought and sold or a place to store wealth. So long as housing policy relies upon the market and private sector interests to deliver homes, we will face a housing crisis in one form or another.
People Before Profit’s housing policy is based on the following key principles, that:
- everyone requires and has the right to decent, secure and affordable housing, irrespective of their income;
- housing should be based on needs that change over the course of a lifetime and should be culturally appropriate;
- housing forms part of whole community development and should be planned and developed with the amenities and services that make communities resilient and sustainable;
- communities and individuals should have a say in all stages of development;
- the most modern and environmentally sustainable design, construction methods and building materials should be used to ensure quality homes for all.
These key principles inform the detailed policies that we set out below – we believe that “Another Housing System Is Possible”.
2. HOUSING POLICY CONTEXT
The COVID-19 crisis has shone a light on the nature of the housing crisis in Ireland.
In the 2020 election we were repeatedly told that a rent freeze and a ban on evictions would be ‘unconstitutional’. However, both were introduced almost immediately during the COVID-19 crisis, proving the previous rhetoric to be untrue. The ability to have a different housing system is there but the political will is not – particularly given that 1 in 4 TDs are landlords (27% of Fine Gael and a third of Fianna Fail TDs).
In the North we have seen an extension of the notice to quit required by landlords, effectively banning evictions during the crisis.
North and South, bans on evictions should have run for years, not months. This public health crisis will not be over any time soon and for as long as it lasts, people need to be secure in their homes.
North and South, the governments have occupied hotels and Airbnb’s to house those who are homeless. But why should it take a pandemic to provide people with their basic human right, a place to live? The obsession with building hotels rather than public housing and the lack of regulation of Airbnb and short-term let properties has drastically fuelled the crisis.
Yet, the pandemic has also highlighted that an alternative can be pursued. During the initial crisis in Belfast, for the first time in at least ten years, no-one was forced to live on the streets. In Dublin alone, more than 650 apartments, hotel rooms and single-occupancy rooms were sourced for homeless people, proving that we have the ability to accommodate all.
It should not take a global health pandemic to implement policies that could have made a difference to the housing crisis years ago.
Housing Crisis and Capitalism
The current housing crisis has affected individuals and families across the whole of society. It has become harder and harder to get a place to live that is of decent quality, affordable, secure, culturally and life-stage appropriate. In Ireland today, more than ten-thousand adults and children are homeless, many of them for a number of years.
Our current housing crisis is the result of successive government policies. Five policies in particular have been at the root cause:
- Since the 1990s, it has been government policy to reduce the number of council homes being built, so as to stimulate a boom in private property.
- Because governments withdrew from building and planning housing, the Celtic Tigerboom of the 1990s saw housing developments being built in areas that people simply could not live in, because of a lack of jobs or services like education, or both. These developments occurred because there was money to be made and is why we have 270,000 empty properties all over the country.
- People are losing their homes because they can no longer afford to pay their mortgages.
- The cost of rent has skyrocketed, coupled with a lack of security and rights for private sector tenants, resulting in many being evicted into homelessness.
- Because the councils do not have enough public housing, they rely on the private sector. The introduction of housing assistance payments has resulted in billions of Euro in public money being spent on private rent to accommodate people on the housing list. This is a major subsidy to the landlord class.
Essentially, these policies privatise housing. They are all based on the underlying assumption that housing is a commodity that can generate money and wealth for those that have access to money and wealth. Creating and maintaining housing for all is not the goal of current government policy, making money is. Housing just happens to be a convenient way to do that, especially when state policies encourage it and then governments do little to intervene when it all goes horribly wrong.
This is free market capitalism. Housing provision is based on what will make people with access to power, money and wealth (developers, construction firms, landlords, banks and corporations) rich, not what the rest of us need to survive. That’s why we will never get decent, affordable housing for everyone under the ‘free market’ because in the free market, land and housing stock are treated as commodities, basic goods and services that can be bought, rented and sold for profit. This is a housing and property market, not a housing system.
3. A SYSTEM OF PUBLIC HOUSING
At the heart of PBP’s housing policy is a renewed and revitalised public housing programme. It is our vision to make public housing a tenure of choice for anyone who needs housing in our society. This is what happens in many European cities and countries. Below we set out our specific policies to achieve this.
We believe that public housing should be made available to all who want it, with rents payable based on income. By removing all income limits to social housing and investing in a mass programme of public home building on public land, we will effectively create a single system of public housing that is available to all.
The Cost Rental model currently proposed, i.e. to offer ‘social’ housing to those on lower incomes and ‘public’ housing to those on middle incomes will only serve to create a two tier system of housing. Inevitably over time this will serve to only further stigmatise social housing tenants and divide communities.
The Cost Rental model – where rents are set to cover costs of construction and maintenance, but not to provide a profit to investors – can be a useful tool for funding provision of public housing. However, it should not be used in a way that further adds to the two tier system where low income households are renting from Local Authorities or Approved Housing Bodies and higher earners own their own homes or are renting privately. Inevitably over time this would serve to only further stigmatise social housing tenants and divide communities. Whatever the funding method used to fund State construction of homes, these homes should remain in public ownership, rents must be linked to incomes and should not be above 20%* of household income.
Municipalisation – no Corporate Landlords
The period since the 2008 financial crash has seen government policies designed to encourage the entrance and increase of corporate landlords in Ireland. A Department of Finance report in 2019 estimated that over 40% of all new apartments are purchased by FIRE companies (Financial, Insurance and Real Estate). The report warns that such companies are developing a strong enough presence in certain locations to have market rent setting powers.
PBP rejects the entrance of corporate landlords in the private-rented sector. It is unacceptable for corporations and their financial backers, to profit from the basic human need for shelter.
People Before Profit advocate the municipalisation of the corporate private rental residential property. This means bringing such landlords into public ownership and integrating them into local authority control in the South and the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) in the North.
We will fund and empower local government and the NIHE to increase the share of public housing through the purchase of suitable housing stock, as it becomes available.
- Public housing will be available to a wider demographic, essentially to all who want it, with rents payable calculated on income earned. The income limit will be removed – we will ensure public housing is a tenure of choice and delivers truly mixed, sustainable communities.
- Within local authority (NIHE, in the North) areas, we will devolve responsibility (and appropriate funding) for local management to locally elected management committees, including a budget and appropriate workforce to carry out minor maintenance works.
- PBP will develop a scheme to enable tenants to move within a development / area on the basis of accommodation requirement, throughout different life-stages (i.e. single, couple, kids, elderly).
- Rent levels will be based on household income (max of 20% of household income) not market value. HAP (or any housing subsidy that might replace it) will be a differential rate, tied to income and means-tested. As it stands it is a flat benefit that is the same for those with zero income as those just below the threshold.
- We understand that some people would want to own their own homes for a variety of reasons. Our aspiration is to make rented public housing the tenure of choice, however in the meantime we are in favour of affordable public housing being made available for purchase. But if being resold by the purchaser, they must be sold back to the local authority from which they were purchased.
- Following from this, we believe the Tenant Purchase Scheme should be discontinued when a broad scheme of public housing has been implemented. In the meantime, we only support Tenant Purchase Schemes where for each unit sold the local authority housing stock is supplemented. The TPS should not be used to offload publicly owned housing.
Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) – For a Public Service, No to Privatisation
The NIHE is a lasting legacy of the 1960s NI civil rights movement. It has a history and experience of taking some of the poorest housing conditions in Europe in the early 1970s to becoming a housing provider of best quality public housing and a world leader in housing management and community building. The past twenty years has seen a slow decline in the financial and operational capacities of the NIHE due to hostile housing policies devised in Westminster and supported or unchallenged by the Stormont Executive.
PBP is in favour of revitalising the NIHE and crucially enabling a policy and funding environment where the backlog of maintenance and repairs can be addressed, and the Housing Executive can re-commence a major programme of new home building.
Specifically, PBP supports:
- lifting the restriction on borrowing imposed on the NIHE;
- re-directing the funding from the proposed cut in corporation tax to support new home building;
- extending the social housing grant scheme to allow the NIHE to bid for new funding.
Currently, 40% of NIHE housing benefits are paid to private landlords – this equates to subsidising private landlords with taxpayer funds. This is 100’s of millions of pounds that would be of much better use funding the building and maintenance of social housing.
A housing points based system is rendered useless if when an individual reaches the points threshold, there is not suitable housing available for the person. We demand that social housing is to be built in areas of highest need, not based on political expediency.
PBP also demand that the Stormont Minister for Communities live up to their stated promise of no more selling off public land – no exceptions.
Use Public Land for Public Housing
People Before Profit will pursue policies, that:
- Utilise public land for public housing, only;
- Implement the Kenny Report (1973) in full, holding a referendum, if required;
- Establish and maintain a national register of underused and unused sites and properties;
- Employ Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) to take over urban sites left vacant or unused for a specified period of time.
There are over 200,000 vacant properties in Ireland – even though thousands have no home. We need a ‘use it or lose it policy’; whereby, private property owners will pay a special levy if their property is left empty for more than six months (except under particular circumstances such as probate).
We are in favour of policies where:
- Owners of properties listed on the national register of underused / unused sites and properties will be given a maximum of 6 months to return the property into use as a home. After which, a sliding scale of incentives will be implemented:
- After six months a monthly rent will be charged;
- After 1 year the property will be taken into public ownership.
- Investment properties left empty or underused for more than six months will be subject to an annual tax of 20% of the value of the property.
4. TENANTS’ RIGHTS AND RENTS
Ireland does not have a healthy housing system and this needs to change. We require a large and diverse housing supply that can match the needs of people at every stage of their life. This means strengthening and enshrining rights for those renting, and moving away from a system that favours homeowners.
High Rents in the Private Rental Sector
The cost of private rented accommodation across the island is far too high. This is leading to poverty and ultimately social cleansing. In cities, low and middle income renters are being pushed to the outer suburbs and the cost of living has soared.
People Before Profit are in favour of the introduction of rent controls and we propose:
- The establishment a Rental Board with responsibility to maintain minimum accommodation standards, secure tenancy leases and reduction of existing rents to below 2011 levels;
- New tenancies to be on the following basis:
- Rent caps to be introduced on all dwellings valued at or below half a million euro;
- Rents should not exceed 20% of the tenants income – initial rent agreed between tenant and landlord on the basis of average rent levels in particular areas with the option (for the tenant) to involve the Rental Board to mediate;
- Agreed rent to be registered with the Rental Board;
- Tenant should have a right to a minimum of a five year lease, with option to renew lease for further periods of five years;
- Annual rent increases should be based on inflation and not exceed the CPI – in the event of loss of or reduction in income by the tenant, rents to be revised downwards, the shortfall to be made up through the social welfare system.
These measures will create genuine rent controls, as opposed to the government’s rent pressures zones that do not work. The existing rent pressure zones create an incentive for landlords to break sitting tenants’ contracts as this would provide them with an opportunity to increase the rent they can charge.
Lack of Security of Tenure in the Private Rental Sector
Private renters in Ireland live with the near constant threat of financially motivated evictions. In Ireland the idea of having a secure home is equated to home ownership. In large part this is because private rental tenancies are not adequately protected from the whims of profit-driven landlords.
This profit-driven approach to housing only serves to spread rental insecurity across the country. The result, known as residential alienation, can have severe socio-political implications that extend far beyond the housing sector. A disempowered renter is a disempowered voter, whose immediate need for safe, affordable housing will take precedent, pulling them away from the polls; thus undermining the democratic process.
People Before Profit will remove sale, refurbishment and renovation as grounds for termination of tenancy. Further, we will extend full tenancy rights to those with licence greements in medium or long-term tenancies – for example, people in student accommodation. Lifelong security of tenure will be guaranteed from the day of commencement of a tenancy. We will also extend the term “landlord” to cover those who come into possession of a property as receivers or lenders.
People Before Profit will abolish the landlord quango Residential Tenancies Board and create a new, truly independent rental board for all tenants. The new board will be composed of representatives from groups such as tenants, community representatives, etc to achieve a better balance of interests. The new board will oversee all those living in rented accommodation in the private rented sector, approved housing bodies and local authority tenants. The new board will be responsible for fairly and transparently adjudicating on disputes, registration of tenancies, holding tenants’ deposits, establishing a rent register, carrying out yearly inspections (funded through an appropriate level of public finances), enforcing standards and maintenance of properties and penalising defaulting landlords punitively.
Local Authority Tenants
Local Authority tenants currently have no direct formal mechanism to hold their landlords (the local authorities) to account with regard to their rights as tenants. Our proposal to create an independent rental board, for all rental tenants, will allow local authority tenants exercise their rights.
PBP are in favour of tenants organising collectively to protect their own interests and are in favour of public funds being used to support tenants’ organisations.
People Before Profit are in favour of revoking all legislation that allows vulture funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), build-to-rent corporate landlords and other special purpose vehicles to operate in the Irish housing market. We must end the practice of generating massive profits for these entities at the expense of ordinary people and their housing needs. (See also municipalisation of corporate landlords in section 3 above).
High Tax On Non-Labour Static Income
The introduction of high rate taxes on non-labor, static sources of income for landlords.
The current rental situation in metropolitan areas all around the country are nothing short of extortionate. Dublin rental costs are second highest in all of Europe, next only to London, Copenhagen and Paris as of 2019. COVID-19 has shown the true extent to which renters are being charged for their accommodation, with few places to turn to outside of private rental accommodation. The HAP system of payments, which has been proposed as a solution to the rental crisis simply puts millions of euros of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of landlords, at no benefit to society.
This is only in addition to another systemic problem in Irish metropolitan areas; the explosion of Air BNB properties that have sprung up to exploit the tourist market while siphoning huge amounts of accommodation away from citizens.
People Before Profit proposes the implementation of a high rate of tax on non-labor income sources, relating to landlord holdings, once landlords begin charging renters rates over the average rental prices across Europe. (These rates will of course vary per square foot, type of accommodation etc.)
Implementing a high rate of tax once a landlord begins to charge over the EU average (70/80/90%+) will discourage landlords from listing prices to prospective renters at extortionate prices as well as provide funds to the state to funnel back into public and affordable housing schemes at the county council level from those landlords that exploit high prices from the tourist market on short term rental apartments.
As a static source of income for a landlord, their rental profits should be viewed in the same light as capital that gains interest. I.e. it is money that they receive outside of labor and receive solely because they own a rental property.
In this sense, the introduction of high tax rates on landlords could bring to the front of the national conversation the exact role of a landlord and question their benefits to society, all the while driving home the fact that renters in Ireland simply hand over the material outcomes of their own labor to their landlord so that a landlord does not have to do any labor themselves to earn a living.This is essentially a form of rent pricing control.
5. BUILDING AND PLANNING POLICIES
PBP hold to the principle that the building and construction of homes and community amenities should not be for the accumulation of profit, based on land speculation and property trading.
The industry itself should uphold high standards in relation to the treatment of its workers, use quality design and materials and aspire to all protocols for environmental and community sustainability.
At the heart of the planning process should be democracy and transparency – local communities should have a meaningful say in how their community develops.
Design / Master Planning
The most important priority for developing a sustainable housing system is that public land will be used for public housing and related community and civic amenities:
- On local councils, in the Dáil and the Stormont Assembly, we will not vote to sell public land to private developers.
- High density housing has a role to play in the development of sustainable communities.
- However, these must be appropriately located and be well designed with sufficient storage, efficient waste management, communal areas, accessible public transport and community amenities.
- We support appropriate housing density, as an alternative to forced long commutes, which are environmentally and socially damaging. It is important that the communal areas in such developments are appropriately maintained and that a caretaker service is provided.
- Refurbishment of existing unused or underused building stock is environmentally friendly – we support investment in such schemes particularly as a strategy to rejuvenate urban/village centres and advocate ‘over the shop’ living schemes.
- Housing types will reflect changing occupancy requirements over the course of citizens’ lifetimes or due to changing circumstances.
- Front-loading the provision of local community facilities, as appropriate, should be an integral part of any plan and development – including schools, public transport, medical centres, library, community rooms, play areas, parks and community gardens / allotments.
- Design Quality – New builds will be built to Passivhaus environmental standards. This will mean that energy costs will be 70% less in comparison with the current housing stock.
- Public Consultation – Develop a democratic planning system where the public are meaningfully engaged at all stages. This should include the provision of independent professional and technical planning support for local communities. Transparency is essential – all documents must be in the public domain, including the financial calculations for Part V and other developer contributions.
- Local authorities will be resourced to support local monitoring committees to allow for engagement between communities and construction sites.
- Development contributions will be weighted to ensure that communities experiencing disruption during construction will be compensated through community gain.
- Establish appropriate land value taxes to encourage timely development once planning permission is given and to avoid land hoarding and speculation.
- Introduce a windfall tax on private developers and land speculators to redistribute a proportion of the speculative gains made due to land hoarding.
- Introduce a tax on second/holiday homes.
Workers rights within the industry:
- People Before Profit recognise the right of workers to organise in a union, to a decent wage, to decent working conditions including ongoing training and professional development or re-skilling where necessary. These rights apply to the construction industry as much as any other industry.
- Establish a state led initiative to provide apprentice recruitment and training delivered under local authority educational training boards. These programmes will be particularly concentrated in areas of high unemployment or deprivation and areas with lower levels of third level educational attainment.
- End bogus sub-contracting in the construction industry.
- End construction self-certification. Establish and fund a building control system, managed by the local authorities, to inspect and certify building works at each appropriate stage of construction.
Climate and Sustainability
- A State Construction Company. People Before Profit advocate the establishment of state owned energy and construction companies to work with local authorities to oversee the retro-fitting of older buildings and homes, with a remit to dramatically cut the use of domestic energy and to ensure that building materials and fabric are upgraded to the highest standards available.
- These state-owned companies will also have a remit for the development of a state led apprenticeship programme to train people in areas such as environmental retrofitting: to turn Ireland into a low carbon society will require a massive infrastructure investment and retrofitting programme, we need to actively develop the skill set to implement this.
6. STUDENT HOUSING
Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)
The National Student Accommodation Strategy for the South was designed to ensure that there is an increased level of supply of purpose built student accommodation to meet the need of increasing student numbers. It is a strategy that does not mention the cost of these new-builds is to be borne by students and their families; it wrongly relies on the private market to solve the problem of increasing need and it does not indicate the distribution of these builds in already existing communities.
Only 19% of the total PBSA developments are publicly owned and 81% in the South are private developments. This situation has forced the costs to astronomical heights, while being branded as luxury accommodation. Students want affordable, fit for purpose accommodation – the current costs are inaccessible for many.
PBP supports colleges receiving capital grants to build accommodation on campus or other public land. This student accommodation will essentially be public housing on public land. All student accommodation builds will include Part V social housing units, currently they do not. We are seeing an oversaturation of student accommodation in certain areas, pushing out communities, driving up the price of land and rents, making them inaccessible to most students. PBP supports tighter restrictions on how many student accommodation blocks can be built in any one local area, off-campus.
Students and other renters are all too familiar with rogue landlords. PBP will introduce the deposit protection scheme that has been promised for since 2011 which will see deposits lodged with an independent state led tenants board which will represent all tenants, including students PBP advocates full tenancy rights for all students whether living in private student accommodation schemes, digs or in on-campus accommodation.
7. SPECIALISED HOUSING NEEDS
Each year county and city councils fail to draw down the budget allocated for traveller accommodation. That is unacceptable and after the negligence of the Carrickmines tragedy, there needs to be immediate action taken to start constructing Traveller accommodation, in dialogue with the community to ensure their requirements are at the core of any plans.
PBP are for the establishment of an Independent National Traveller Housing Agency to oversee the delivery of culturally appropriate Traveller accommodation, suited to the specific needs of the community.
Young people in residential care are forced to move out when they reach the age of 18 years which means most are forced into homeless services. PBP supports no young person having to leave their care placement when they reach 18-years old without having an appropriate place to move to. No young person will have to move from care into homeless services.
Senior Citizen Accommodation
All development must include the provision of senior citizen specific housing units. A properly managed housing system would facilitate people to change home in response to their changing life cycle needs. People are living longer and their needs change. As people finish rearing children, divorce, or require assisted living – their housing needs alter to reflect this. We need more 1-2 person housing and assisted living units to accommodate our changing needs throughout our lifetime.
Domestic Violence Refuges
Accommodation that provides shelter to all victims, young and old, of domestic violence and abuse is urgently needed. People Before Profit are committed to the allocation of public resources to develop and expand services, including appropriate housing, for those fleeing domestic (and other forms) of abuse.
PBP supports the provision of an increased supply of housing appropriate for people with disabilities and special needs. The amount of housing provided by local authorities which is especially adapted to suit people with a variety of disabilities and mobility issues needs to be increased. We advocate and will fight for the provision of disability adaptation grants according to need and not by means testing.
End Direct Provision
Direct Provision has no place in a modern democracy and must be ended. Close current Direct Provision centres. Provide immediate self-contained emergency accommodation that is culturally appropriate for families / individuals seeking refuge and asylum. Ensure privacy so people do not have to share with non-family members while transitioning from short term initial emergency accommodation to permanent accommodation in community.