No Evictions Protest, 16th September 2020 London

On Wednesday 16th September from 11am – 12.30pm, we are co-ordinating a “No 
Evictions” protest in Parliament Square, to coincide with Prime 
Minister’s Question Time. 

The government said “no-one will lose their home because of a pandemic”.  
But unless it changes course, that’s what will start happening on Monday 
21st September, when courts are due to begin eviction cases again.  We’ve heard vague noises about more protection for tenants, but nothing definite, so it’s time to make our voices heard.

We hope MPs will ask questions about how we avoid what Shelter has called the threat of a “tidal wave” of homelessness.

The protest will be socially-distanced and people are encouraged to wear a face mask.  Bring your banner or signs. 

The Facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2437328036571396/

Please share if you can.  All welcome.

Stop Covid-19 Evictions – Public Meeting, 17th September 2020

On Thursday 17th September, we’re holding an online public meeting to discuss how to build the No Evictions campaign, with Generation Rent, Ian Hodson of the Bakers Union, housing workers, John McDonnell MP and others. 

The meeting will be live streamed on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, with questions and comments welcome. 

Please get in touch if you’d like more information.

Next Online Organising Meeting – 5th September 2020, 11am

Our next organising meeting is Saturday 5th September at 11am via Zoom.

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

We’ll discuss:

  • Ending of eviction ban (new deadline 20 Sept); plans for a public meeting to galvanise the growing campaign.
  • Planning changes – what Government wants, and what we can do
  • Empty homes and homeless people – how to connect them?

Action points from last meeting: 
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/action-points_220820.pdf

Get in touch if there are housing issues we can help with, or if you 
need a hand. We will be discussing action on protesting the Government plans to resume legal evictions from the end of September 2020 – a four week delay from their initial date of the 23rd August. This, will escalate the housing 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

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/

Stop Covid-19 Evictions – Protests

The Government has issued a four-week extension on plans to resume legal evictions – now from late September 2020. Such a proposal 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.  

There are nationwide protests planned to stop Covid-19 Evictions:

  • Monday 24th August – RHN – Outside Royal Courts of Justice Thomas More Building, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL. 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Monday 24th August – LRU – Various locations around London
    https://londonrentersunion.org/Greater 
  • Monday 24th August at 1pm – Manchester Against Evictions, Civil
    Justice Centre, 1 Bridge Street West Manchester M60 9DJ.
  • Monday 24th August – Stop Hackney Evictions, 10-30am Gee Street Magistrates Court, EC1V 3RE
  • Monday 24th August – Newham & Leytonstone action, 12-30pm Stratford Magistrates Court, E15

Open Letter to Stop Evictions

Government plans to resume legal evictions from 23 August 2020 will escalate 
the housing crisis. 

We posted an open letter to the Prime Minister, arguing “It’s not too late to step back from the brink, and ensure no-one loses their home due to the Coronavirus 
crisis”. The letter was co-signed by housing activists from across the county and organisations such as Shelter, the Big Issue, John McDonnell MP, Ken Loach, several Black Lives Matter groups, unions and others.  

Read the letter here:
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/OpenLetter_updatedrevised_final.pdf

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.