Vote Housing – General Election 2019

 

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Vote Housing  

Council homes and rent controls win huge support

 

Millions of us are trapped without a secure, safe home we can afford – because the private market has failed to build the homes we need. Billions of pounds of public money have been wasted subsidising private developers, who’ve make record profits, while housing need has soared.

In 2019 tenants, trade unionists and housing campaigners together demanded action for:  

·        A 20 year programme of investment to build 3.1 million non-market rented homes.

·        New, effective regulation of all landlords.

·        Independent tenant organisations.

·        Reforming private renting, including ending “no fault” Section 21 evictions.  

We asked all political parties to commit to build 100,000 council homes a year, with secure tenancies, paid for with direct government investment. Now make 12th December election about housing   [The main parties have announced their housing policies for the election on 12th December.  

·        The Conservatives say they will continue to rely on private developers to build housing.

·        The Lib/Dems have a commitment to “social” housing, but make no mention of council housing.

·        Labour says it plans to build 150,000 new social rented homes a year, 100,000 of them council homes.  Shelter has welcomed Labour’s policy, calling it “transformational”.  The National Housing Federation said it would be a “game changer”.  
#VOTEHOUSING

Download our #VOTEHOUSING flyer here: HFA-DCH_GE2019_A6_2pp_print

 

 

Housing Campaigning during the December 2019 General Election

The election is on and we need to make sure all parties are put on the spot to demand housing action. Can you help by:

1. Contacting local candidates to sign our Charter for Housing Action: http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/charter-for-housing-action/

2.  Organise a local housing hustings, to put candidates and their parties on the spot.  Link up with local tenant groups, housing and other campaigns to help.  Email us for leaflets, and any other help.

3.  Contact key people deciding on Labour’s 2019 Manifesto. This needs to include action to:

  • Build 100,000 council homes a year for social rent;
  • Ring-fence an annual £10 billion housing grant to deliver these; 
  • Rent controls and more rights for private renters (as supported unanimously at this year’s Labour conference).
  • Ask your candidate and Labour party leadership to ensure this action is included in Labour’s 2019 manifesto.

We have postponed our next meeting until after the election.  

If you want leaflets, stickers or other help for local campaigning, get in touch. We will email again with updates on our short films to share on social media, on why we need action on housing. And with details of election events on housing.
 

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General Meeting – Saturday 19th October 2019, London UK

We are determined to keep up the pressure for action, now and in the coming general election.  As the housing crisis gets worse, 210,000 children are registered as homeless, some of them living in shipping containers, while Government does nothing.

We will be making election preparations. to keep the pressure up on tenant’s rights, regulation of private and housing association renting and investment in new and existing council homes.  

 

Next General Meeting:

Saturday 19th October, 11am, Homes for All open meeting, Unite the Union, 33 – 37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB

 

Other Upcoming Meetings – London:

Monday 14th October, 6.30pm, SHAC open meeting, Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN

Saturday 26th October, 12pm, Defend Council Housing national meeting, Unite the Union, 33 – 37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB

 

Write to MP’s about our Charter for Housing Action

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/HFA_charter_A4_v2.pdf

Sign the George Clarke petition:

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-commit-to-building-100-000-new-council-houses-every-year-for-30-years

 

Labour Party Conference – Resolution on Housing

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We had a good Labour Party conference.  During the four days, at least a dozen people joined in with leafleting and on Tuesday, we couldn’t give our “100,000 council homes” stickers away quick enough.  It was great to see so many delegates wearing them. 
Despite all the other things that were going on, our fringe meeting was well attended, with some new people and an excellent panel and discussion.  Steve Turner, Deputy  General Secretary of the Unite union, gave a great overview of the housing situation facing working class communities across the country and the need for action, watch a video of his talk on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/john.orr.94617/videos/10220800242225541/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

We made contact with other campaign groups who we hope to work with again in the future, particularly the Labour Homelessness Campaign and ACORN Brighton.

Things were going well inside the conference too.  Thanks to a lot of hard work by the Labour Campaign for Council Housing, a resolution was passed unanimously backing the call for 100,000 council homes a year, with £10 billion of ring-fenced funding, the end of Right to Buy and “no fault” evictions and a number of other important measures that have the potential to transform UK housing. 

It was great to see that his resolution, known as Composite Motion 23, included many points taken from our Charter for Housing Action.

Our task now is to make sure the motion 23 makes it into the Labour Party manifesto and then, if there’s a Labour government, is fully implemented.  It seems a general election is coming soon and although we will remain non-party political, we will do what we can to make sure people know that there is finally real hope for ending the housing 
crisis.

We’re entering a vital period for the future of housing.  Please make a note of the following meeting dates and try to attend if you can.  Also, please get in touch if you have any ideas for building our campaigns in your local area.

Monday 14th October, 6.30pm, SHAC open meeting, Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN

Saturday 19th October, 11am, Homes for All open meeting, Unite the Union, 33 – 37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB

Saturday 26th October, 12pm, Defend Council Housing national meeting, Unite the Union, 33 – 37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB

Grenfell Never Again: Safe Homes Petition

 

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Grenfell Never Again: the Daily Mirror newspaper and Fire Brigades Union have launched a campaign to make our homes safer. 

Sign the petition today and let us know if you can help link up with unsafe blocks in your area.

Petition Here: 

https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/grenfell-never-again-keep-our-buildings-safe?source=mirror

Find out more information about the petition here:
https://www.fbu.org.uk/news/2019/06/14/firefighters-launch-grenfell-never-again-campaign
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-must-never-happen-again-16516937

 

 

Next Organising Meeting – June 29th, London and Parliamentary Debate on Council Housing

The next Homes for All organising meeting is on 29th June 11am at:

Unite Office in Moreland St EC1V 8BB.   

Let us know if there’s anything you want to raise, or report.  And keep in touch to build the action where you are! Contact us here.

Whoever is the next Prime Minister, we need action on housing now. This week sees an MPs debate, and also marks the second anniversary of the terrible Grenfell fire.
On Thursday 13th  June MPs will debate radical plans to build 100,000 council homes a year.  Can you email your MP, ask them to attend the debate (from 2pm in Westminster Hall) and vote for the motion?   

Find MPs here: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

And if you are near London, there is a protest 2pm Parliament Square, to demand urgent action.  Join if you can.

Grenfell Protests: 6th , 14th and 15th June 2019, London

On 6th June backbench MPs will debate the scandalous failure to rehouse Grenfell tenants or remove toxic waste, improve building and fire regulations, and remove dangerous cladding and other risks to homes.

We will join Grenfell and housing campaign groups at:

Parliament Square, London from 11am on the 6th of June 2019

Let’s demand action on homes, an end to housing deaths and Justice for all at Grenfell and those round Britain still threatened by cladding and building failures.

Please email your MP asking them to join the debate: https://www.mysociety.org/wehelpyou/contact-your-mp/

 

Friday 14th marks the Grenfell two year anniversary, with a Silent Walk in London:

7pm start: https://www.facebook.com/events/2408072305910220/

And in other cities and towns across the UK.

 

On the 15th June, Grenfell community organisations are holding a protest march to demand justice and action on toxic waste and rehousing.  We are backing this march, and invite local groups to invite a speaker, order leaflets and build support from others in your area. 
https://www.facebook.com/events/581265065709901/ 

We will be assembling at Downing Street, SW1 12 noon. Join us, with other tenant groups, trade unions and community organisation, to demand justice.

See leaflet: 

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/J4G-protest-15June-2019.pdf

 

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Stop HA Deregulation and Next Organising Meeting, London – 25th May 2019

Our next organising meeting is on 25th May 2019, 11am-1pm at:

Unite Office, Moreland St EC1V 8BB. 

Come along, or email ideas and reports from local housing action.

Plans from 27 April meeting: 

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/action-points_270419.pdf

 

Housing associations (HAs) – Stop Deregulation and Sell-offs

Let’s push to return Housing Associations to their roots and restore public regulation and accountability. 

Can your tenant, community, trade union or political party discuss this resolution?:
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/HAreregulation_motion2019.pdf

Notes: http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/HAmotion_notes2019.pdf

And ask them to sign up to our Charter for Housing Action too: 

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/news/charter-for-housing-action-in-2019/

Get in touch for more details, leaflets or to discuss these plans.

 

Bad Housing Makes Us Sick: Action Plan and Next Steps

 

Bad housing group

 

More than 100 housing campaigners, tenant reps, doctors and health workers, trade union members and others came and made for a brilliant day of sharing ideas, being inspired and planning action. 

See the final action plan below.  Thanks to everyone who came and/or supported the event. 

 

Final Action Plan:

Support and build 15 June ‘Grenfell – Never Again’ protest march in central London

Demand grant funding for existing and new council housing.

We need an enforceable right to repairs for all tenants, linked to a regular inspection regime

Housing rights must be enacted and reinforced, with extended and strengthened independent tenant organisation

Back to campaigning – street stalls and action to expose Universal Credit, empty properties, temporary accommodation, NHS- and other public land sales or other local issues

Back the Charter for Housing Action in 2019 – get wider support and extend the alliance for action

Stop the deaths due to bad housing – event at parliament date tbc

 

Workshop action points:

A)     Universal Credit and benefit cuts

Stop and scrap Universal Credit

Scrap the Bedroom Tax and reinstate rent controls

Campaign to take the arguments out to people (including at job centres) and challenge the culture of blame and stigma

Demand commitment to no evictions due to benefit arrears – from councils, housing associations and private landlords

Lobby Labour and others including GPs organisations, for a change of policy on benefits

We need an accessible information and welfare rights network

 

B)      Housing Safety after Grenfell

Support and build a demonstration in central London 15 June: especially highlight housing and health contamination issues

Extend Freedom of Information Act to cover any private contractor delivering publicly-funded services or used by public bodies, eg HAs

Promote and distribute ‘Tower Blocks UK’ safety check list and encourage local distribution to tower blocks

Bring building regulation and controls back into public hands and extend tenant control

 

C)      Housing insecurity and mental/physical health wellbeing

Community action – link housing and health activists; protect community

Cost of housing crisis estimated at £100-£150,000 per head.  This needs to be invested in community health, including legal advice, community action, and decent, secure,affordable homes

Stand together – Unite!

 

 

Raquel

Photos courtesy of Debbie Humphry.