This is a UCATT press release following a vote at the TUC Congress.

The trade union movement has united to support a call by construction union UCATT for a huge increase in the building of social housing for rent.

The TUC Congress in Brighton today (September 12) overwhelmingly supported a motion moved by UCATT which lambasted the Conservative-led Government’s record on social housing and called for a five point plan to begin to resolve the housing crisis.

Moving the motion Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “We have an absolute moral obligation to tackle this housing emergency. And it makes economic sense. Invest in construction and we will see growth. Invest in social housing and we will also see wider community and social benefits.”

The motion calls on the TUC General Council to campaign for:

  • A massive increase in social housing;
  • An end to the Right to Buy;
  • A reversal of the policy that links social rents to market values;
  • For social housing to be built under strict procurement rules requiring apprentice training;
  • For increased investment in green building technologies.

Under the present Government homelessness has risen by 14%, families living in bed and breakfast have increased by 44%, private rents have increased by 26% and there are currently 5 million people on housing waiting lists.

Investment in social housing fell by a massive 25% in the previous quarter compared to the same period in 2011. Last year in the six months up to September 2011, there were just 259 properties for social rent completed. At least 240,000 new homes are needed each year to meet demand.

Mr Murphy, added: “A large-scale programme of social house building will generate jobs, reinvigorate the economy and most of all will diminish social inequality.”