More social housing should be built to curb the sharp rise in the number of private landlords being paid rents from public funds, according to union leaders.
“Buy to let” landlords now renting out a million more properties than in 2008 and it would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent to stop £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy says GMB.
In Milton Keynes there was an increase of 46.6 per cent in the number of private landlords in receipt of rent via housing benefit paid for by taxpayers between November 2008 and November 2013. The increase was from 4,781 landlords in 2008 to 7,009 in 2013.
Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “Buy to let landlords are now renting out a million more properties than in 2008.
“In this region the growth in buy to let empires is paid for by taxpayers via the massive 48.6 per cent increase in the number of private landlords in receipt of housing benefit.
“Mrs Thatcher’s Government changed the labour movement traditional policy of spending money on bricks to spending the money on rents. Labour’s John Burns 1907 law to allow councils to build houses for rent was also reversed then.
“Since then, £411 billion of public funds has been spent on rents. It would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent and stop at least £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy.
“GMB consider that this was a serious policy mistake and the cost to the public purse is now becoming apparent.
“GMB want to see this public money fuelling buy to let empires replaced with a system directly benefiting those in need of social housing.
“GMB is aiming to secure a fundamental change in policy on funding social housing. This is not a new stance by the union. We want private sector middlemen cut out of public housing provision.
“GMB is also seriously concerned about the money spent on rents, rather than bricks and mortar, is fuelling the growth in inequality in our society.”