The CPI was a founding member of the Campaign for Public Housing in 2018, alongside other political parties, housing activists, and community groups. The objective of the campaign was to advocate for universally accessible public housing built and owned by the state, available to all citizens as a right to housing with rents linked to income. The campaign called for a referendum on a constitutional right to housing and a ban on economic evictions until such time that the state could provide a suitable alternative. These demands differ fundamentally from those of most housing campaigners, who concentrate their efforts purely on addressing homelessness, which is in fact a symptom of the private housing market and private property rights enforced in the interests of landlords.
Universal public housing would fulfil the housing needs of everyone, unlike the limited amount of social housing provided by the state at present, which is reserved for only the poorest sections of the working class. The CPI further called for differential rents (a percentage of the tenant’s income) to apply to universal public housing schemes, rather than implementing a “cost-rental” model. The latter would see tenants on higher incomes pay a disproportionate amount of the cost of the schemes, discouraging higher income tenants from such housing schemes and thus perpetuating the current model of social housing.
The CPI was involved in protesting against build-to-rent developments as part of the campaign. Other activities included opposing the sale of publicly owned land to private developers, anti-eviction actions, demonstrations outside property fairs aimed at large institutional investors, and calling for a ban on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
CPI members have been active in local branches of the Community Action and Tenants’ Union (CATU) since the latter was set up in 2019.