[2023] Motion 23 Secure, affordable housing for all workers

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress welcomes Equity’s ‘Dignity in digs’ campaign, ensuring touring workers are provided with accommodation that is safe, secure, clean, private and close to the venues they work within.

Congress notes the rise of short-term letting platforms and the failure to build sufficient affordable homes has transformed the housing market, including the traditional theatre ‘Digs’ system and driven significant cost increases to both short and long-term rented accommodation. This reduces feasible options for any worker seeking affordable, clean, safe accommodation, and has particularly impacted marginalised groups.

In a survey of nearly 1,000 performers and stage managers:

i. 56 per cent said their experiences of accommodation would make them less likely to apply for jobs involving working away from home

ii. 71 per cent regularly felt unsafe in their accommodation

iii. 41 per cent said issues with accommodation had a detrimental impact on their mental health.

Congress agrees that all workers have the right to safe, decent and affordable housing, both while working away and in their wider lives.

Congress endorses Equity’s campaign to:

a. place responsibility for securing appropriate accommodation on the engager

b. provide proper remuneration for Equity members to cover the additional costs of touring

c. introduce the strongest possible mandatory licensing schemes for short-term accommodation, with ongoing checks on quality and safety.

As part of wider campaigns to:

1. ensure hundreds of thousands of genuinely affordable homes are built in each year of the next decade

2. cap rent increases

3. increase the number of landlord licensing schemes in operation across the UK.