Socialist Worker

The system risks lives

Issue No. 2593

Kensington and Chelsea has plenty of empty homes

Kensington and Chelsea has plenty of empty homes (Pic: Jo.sau/Flickr)


The number of street homeless people has risen for the seventh year in a row—as temperatures dropped below freezing.

Many of the 4,751 people sleeping rough in parks, streets and archways in Britain face life-threatening conditions.

It’s a damning indictment of both the Tories—and our capitalist society—who treat working class people like trash.

As the Public Sector Build Journal said, “Rough sleepers are seen as the human form of litter within a space.”

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea—the richest borough in London—has 1,399 empty dwellings.

Yet as the bright young things of Chelsea wallow in wealth, the Tory-run council is waging war on homeless people.

Official figures show that it shipped some 1,688 people to outer London areas in 2016.

They could have been rehoused by taking empty homes off the rich.

Working class people who do have accommodation are often condemned to unsafe, overpriced housing. The burnt-out wreck of Grenfell Tower in the heart of Kensington is a reminder of what this can mean.

We need to build millions of council homes but we also need to get rid of the system that causes the housing crisis.

That means building a socialist society that meets people’s needs, instead of maximising bosses’ profits.


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