Make housing a human right says Manchester mayor Andy Burnham


Radical action is needed to tackle the UK’s current housing crisis, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has said in a letter to the leaders of the three main political parties, as he marks his first anniversary as the region’s metro mayor.

One of Andy Burnham’s original pledges as the mayor of Greater Manchester was to end the need for rough sleeping by 2020, and he now wants the government and politicians to do more to deal with the country’s housing shortage, as well as to try and fix the “broken” rental market.

In a letter to Conservative leader and Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, Burnham has called for combined and local authorities to be given the power and freedom to invest in housing markets locally, as well as to build homes for social rent.

Extend the right to healthcare to safe housing

He said: “Here in Greater Manchester, there is no shortage of passion and determination to do something to help. But that urgently needs to be matched by people in Parliament and Government showing the same.

“We cannot allow the intricacies of Brexit to divert us from the humanitarian crisis unfolding on our own streets.”

“Any night spent on the streets causes immense damage to people’s physical and mental health. Housing is a health issue and in this, the 70th anniversary year of the National Health Service, what better way of marking than by extending the right to healthcare to safe housing.”

Burnham believes that housing should be seen as a basic human right just like health and education, citing the European Convention on Human Rights – and adding that eviction from private rented sector (PRS) homes is the main cause of homelessness in Greater Manchester.

He has extended an invitation to the three party leaders to visit Greater Manchester to look at how housing issues are being tackled in his city, after he announced a £7m investment to fund the development of 450 homes for people living on the streets.

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Manchester’s Property Drought

Make housing a human right says Manchester mayor Andy Burnham


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