Housing in the UNSR - Major Reforms Approved by both houses of the Socialist Congress and signed into law by Korojaunu Sanders
Home ownership in pre-revolution had been gradually declining since a mortgage crash and a recession in the late 2000s. The economy, which at the time was still struggling to make capitalism work, was devastated. Nowadays, less than 60% of people in the UNSR own their home, with 42% renting. A law which passed in July meant that landlords could choose one of their properties (including their own home) to keep, but the rest were confiscated by the government and the mortgages written off by the newly nationalised banks. No compensation was given to landlords, but they were allowed to keep the rent they took before and during a 5 month transition period while their properties were audited by the state. Landlords were furious, but they were reminded that the state could punish them for the money the laundered from the proletariat. They proceeded to protest, as is their right, but the government just ignored their protest.
The 5 month transition period is meant to make sure landlords can find new jobs, and make sure the state can set up housing cooperatives for people who can't afford to buy houses and want to continue 'renting'. This concept of rent, however, is much different to the current system. There's no profit to be made, so rent will be lower for all renters in the nation. Houses will be grouped into housing cooperatives of varying sizes, where they can pool resources and eventually come to own their group of houses collectively, and no longer pay rent to the state.
The new reforms are the nationalisation of water, gas, and electricity to provide renters and homeowners alike a better service. With just one, standardised system, everyone receives them all for free automatically and they aim to . People are free to opt out of the broadband scheme and use one owned by a cooperative that would have better speeds than the basic, government one. This is because both factions of the Communist Party believe that broadband has become a basic commodity, like water, gas and electricity.
All banks have been nationalised (though the Alliance écologique nicoleizienne has said that cooperative ownership of banks is acceptable), and as such mortgages have come into state control. The governing faction has decided to reduce the income rate of mortgages, to lower payments for people. The remaining interest is to be used to just keep the banks going, and to keep staff hired. Speaking on behalf of the governing Faction, the TANKIES, Cécile Laucre, released the following statement: 'Housing is a human right. Water is a human right. Heating is a human right. Electricity is a human right. People say that people will use too much of these and waste them, but the reality is that the real waste is not from normal people having more baths. It comes from the profits stolen off the back of normal, everyday people in wage theft, in rent, in their utilities. We are giving back the workers the profit that they make, the rent money stolen from them, and taking away the profits made on the utilities they need to live. It is fully medieval, feudal even, to let people to make money off of the things people need to survive. Let's remember folks, life was not always like this. In the very distant past, in prehistory, people supported each other - gave food, water and shelter for free. Gave what limited healing abilities they had to provide healthcare for free. I'm not an primitivist - by any means. But with the technology we have today means no one needs to make a profit off the survival of human beings. The reforms we have made hopefully mean life is more bearable, more affordable.'
Housing was a key element of grief amongst the proletariat of Icholasen before the revolution. Rent and mortgages were rising above inflation which meant that as productivity rose, wages stayed the same but prices and rent rose. The factions within the Socialist Congress believe that this is the way they win the hearts and minds of the Nicoleizian people as some resistance remains.