Sign our Open Letter to Stop Evictions

Government plans to resume legal evictions from 23 August 2020 will escalate 
the housing crisis.  Our joint letter, arguing “It’s not too late to step back from the 
brink, and ensure no-one loses their home due to the Coronavirus 
crisis”, is already co-signed by Shelter, the Big Issue, John McDonnell 
MP, Ken Loach, several Black Lives Matter groups, unions and others.  
Can you and your group add your support? 

Email us to add your name to the letter: 
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/OpenLetter_updatedrevised_final.pdf

Next Online Organising Meeting – 8th August 2020, 11am

Our next organising meeting is Saturday 8th August at 11am via Zoom.

Login details will be emailed to our mailing list – sign up today.

Action plans from last meeting here: 
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/action-points_250720.pdf

Get in touch if there are housing issues we can help with, or if you 
need a hand. Government plans to resume legal evictions from 23 August, will escalate the housing crisis. Tenants are at the front end of this crisis. Millions are broke, insecure and hungry, as inequality is aggravated by the health and 
economic crisis. 

It’s clear whose interests Government is lining up with: Housing 
minister Lord Greenhalgh says more evictions are how to end lockdown, 
and the Government is pushing owners to convert more commercial 
buildings into homes without planning approval
and the safety controls 
involved.  But tenants also won a victory this week, when a district 
Court said it’s illegal for landlords to ban tenants claiming housing 
benefit (though Government is trying to overturn this by appeal).

We want to step up pressure for Government action to stop a wave of 
evictions, suspend rents for those losing income, pay housing and other 
benefits from day one, and start work to create 100,000 new council 
homes.  The Prime Minister is promising more investment in public
infrastructure – but still leaving council housing off his list.  We
will work out ways to step up the pressure for investment in new and
reclaimed council homes.

We’ve urged the Labour Party to continue their pledge to reform national housing policy on Labour’s policy forum:
https://www.policyforum.labour.org.uk/commissions/homes-for-all

And can you help ensure Bangladeshi tenants see this survey about why 
COVID is having such a damaging impact on their community:
https://www.britbanglacovid.com/2020/06/function-var-qsjsqsddocument-gid_11.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR0–F9fs32Srq9JZcrRCuuNhkVbxLIJtA8dBl5lMRTRafQOITEKF9sSm1Q

Our survey has confirmed how tenants, and especially private 
renters and those who are ill, are struggling.  You can see the initial 
results here: 
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/uncategorized/our-survey-confirms-covid-impact-on-tenants/

Grenfell, Housing and Racism – Online Public Meeting, 14th July 2020 – 7PM

At the Grenfell inquiry this week, a QC for the families said “Grenfell is inextricably linked with race. It is the elephant in the room.”  That’s why, on Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 7pm on the monthly anniversary of the atrocity, we’re holding an 
online public meeting, “Grenfell, Housing and Racism”. 

Our speakers will be Apsana Begum (MP for Poplar and Limehouse), Abbas Dadou (Chair of a Residents Association near the tower), Kasim Ali (Kensington and  Chelsea Councillor), Tanya Murat (Defend Council Housing) and Moyra Samuels (local resident and Stand Up to Racism).  We’ll also be joined from the USA by Chivona Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter in New York City.

It promises to be a really interesting and inspiring meeting.  Please 
try to come along and help spread the word.  The meeting will be live 
streamed on the Homes for All Facebook page and YouTube channel, links 
below:

https://www.facebook.com/Axe-the-Housing-Act-secure-homes-for-all-1535565046764103/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMh2QRvMoz2w3hX3Tmaka-A

The Facebook event link is below, so please share and invite if you can:

https://www.facebook.com/events/3277441318978750/

If you’re on Twitter, there’s a link here you can retweet:

Also earlier this week, the influential National Infrastructure Commission, which advises the government, said council houses are the “only way to reach 300,000 homes goal” (The Times, 8.7.20).  In response, Defend Council Housing sent out the following press release:

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/GovtAdvisor_councilhousing080720.pdf

Watch or listen to the meeting now: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Zbac0u-GkKO8ylADE-VyjJTzJA7KTowc

Justice for Grenfell – 14th June 2020

Sunday 14th June marks three years since the fire at Grenfell Tower.  Victims and survivors do not all have permanent homes yet – and three years on, still no-one has been held to account for what happened.  

Around the country hundreds more blocks are still unsafe. Some people will mark the anniversary from home. Join through:
https://www.grenfellunited.org.uk/ 

Others will gather at 2pm, at the foot of Grenfell: https://www.facebook.com/officalj4g/


For those who can’t get there, at 6pm 80 London churches will ring bells 
72 times to mark those who died.  If you are in London, can you organise 
with others to take banners or posters and stand outside while the bells 
ring?

Or organise something where you are – making sure you safely 
observing 2m distancing. Or hold up a solidarity sign from your home or 
doorstep – and send a selfie photos and messages to Grenfell, and to us 
here, or on our Facebook page or through Twitter.

Empty Homes: Fill Them Now! – Online Public Meeting

Join our online meeting on Tuesday 2nd June, 6.30pm with Mark Slater of Rochdale Seven Sisters campaign; Will McMahon Action on Empty Homes; Labour Homelessness campaign, and Tanya Murat Southwark DCH. 

Join the meeting, comment and ask questions through our Facebook  page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/292137258619584/

Or our YouTube channel: Homes 4 All UK

A Minister’s letter to ‘all’ council and housing association tenants, 
sets out what should be happening on repairs, maintenance, gas safety 
and moves.  As most tenants have not received it, see it here: 
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Covid19_Letter_to_social_housing_residents.pdf

Despite the crisis and lockdown, Housing Association landlords are 
pushing through rent rises; NottingHill Genesis (NHG) is threatening 
outrageous 25% rises for NHS staff, teachers and other key workers.  
Tenant protests have forced NHG to delay these – but tenants are 
determined to stop this rank profiteering.  Do get in touch if you or 
people you know are affected, or if you can help their campaign.

And you can write to Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, and copy it to 
your own MP, council leader (and us!). We need to keep up pressure to 
ensure thousands don’t face evictions at the end of June, and to get 
funding for a new generation of council homes. 

Model letter with address/email is here:  
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Jenrick-letter-final.pdf

Government letter to tenants on Covid, repairs and your rights

This letter from a Minister dated 18 May 2020, says ‘landlords should be able to carry out routine as well as essential repairs’, making prior arrangements with any households isolating or shielding sick and vulnerable people. It includes guidelines for how work should be done and tenants protected: see links in the document including Coronavirus (Covid19) Guidance for Landlords and Tenants.

We can’t leave our safety to chance – so demand your landlord agrees in advance to stick to the guidelines, and agree a procedure if these are broken. All workers in our blocks and homes need to work safely or not at all.

Work on high rise blocks with unsafe cladding or insufficient fire safety, ‘remains a top priority for the Government’, it claims. (So why are there still at least 357 blocks still with Grenfell-style cladding, and 11,000 blocks with risky cladding, two years on from the Grenfell fire?)

This letter, with important information, has not been sent to any of the 4 million+ tenants so far – so we are publishing it to ensure we can prepare and protect ourselves.

Our survey confirms Covid impact on tenants


A Homes for All  survey is gauging how Coronavirus is affecting its supporters, families and communities.  Initial results, from 101 respondents , confirm that Covid-19 is deepening a housing crisis that’s been growing for years.
The survey results show:

25% have lost all or some of their income.
9% have had to claim Universal Credit.
15% are struggling to pay rent/mortgage.
10% have fallen into arrears.
17% are worried about falling into arrears.

Private renters are most, and disproportionately affected by the crisis:

39% have lost all or some of their income.
70% are struggling to pay the rent.
50% have fallen into arrears.
73% are worried about falling into arrears.

By comparison, although 28% of those who’ve lost all or some of their income are council tenants, their secure tenancies appear to reduce anxiety at falling into arrears.

Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing (part of the Homes for All alliance) says:
“These results are very worrying.  They tally with other research showing we’re heading for an explosion of evictions and homelessness unless government takes urgent action to protect tenants who can’t pay the rent due to the Covid crisis.  The results also show council housing is the only truly secure affordable rented housing, especially in a crisis.  That’s why we’re demanding action to ensure 100,000 new and reclaimed council homes a year as part of the recovery plan.”

As London Renters Union’s Amina Gichinga says:
“After lockdown ends, it could go two ways. Renters could face the chaos of rent debt and evictions. Or they could be safe from eviction and able to afford necessities like food and rent.

“That’s not much to ask – but for it to happen, the government needs to suspend rent payments, cancel rent debt and make the evictions ban permanent. Ultimately we need rent controls and more council housing.”

Behind the statistics are people’s lives.  Among some of the responses to the Homes for All survey:
“It is hard not having any face to face contact with family/friends, as I live on my own in a flat. Also, I do not have a garden or balcony, which increases the time I have to stay inside.”

(15% of responders reported lack of access to open space.)

“I have constant anxiety and fear about money and housing security.”

“I am classed as vulnerable.  I’m over 65 and Diabetic.  I live in an overcrowded house with one son sleeping on the settee and working making cardboard boxes for lamp shades and another son, a bus driver whose been furloughed.”

“On 27 March, Haringey Council’s management company closed the concierge service and reduced the cleaning service in blocks (no more weekly cleaning of stairways landings and corridors).  The risk of infection is obvious.”

Tenants, Covid, and the Fight to Keep our Homes – May 9th 2020 Online Meeting

Join our online Public meeting on Saturday 9th May 2020 at 7pm with UK, USA tenants and Barcelona Tenants Union, and John McDonnell MP on:

Our Facebook page: Facebook: Axe the Housing Act – Secure homes for all

OR our YouTube Channel: YouTube Homes 4 All UK

Please share and invite people via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/188041545527763/

PDF Download here:
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/H4A_Tenants-Covid-meet90520.pdf

WATCH THE CONVERSATION:
Thank you to all who took part in the meeting. It has had thousands of views and you can still see it on Facebook:: 

Tenants, Covid And The Fight To Keep Our Homes.

Tenants, Covid And The Fight To Keep Our Homes.Multistreaming with https://restream.io/Public Meeting Online: Hosted By Homes For All UK

Posted by Axe the Housing Act- secure homes for all on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Or on our YouTube Channel.

Online General Meeting – May 2nd 2020

Housing pressures are mounting as the health crisis continues. Millions 
are losing pay, and can’t afford the rent. Or are in unsafe, overcrowded 
homes.  We need to increase pressure on our politicians to act, and 
support each other to avert misery.

On Saturday 2nd May at 11am our next organising meeting will be held via Zoom. Meeting details will be emailed to our mailing list – email us to join.

With estates still being emptied and demolished, and some sitting empty, along with thousands of other empty homes, we’ll hear from campaigns about how we stop the demolition and get people rehoused now.

To discuss:

Get in touch if you want help with how the lockdown is hitting you and your neighbours. 

Also on May 9th, we’ll be hosting a big online public meeting with UK, US and other tenant groups, and John McDonnell MP.  Details to follow.