Join Fuel Poverty Action on Budget Day to stop cold weather deaths

Homes for All is supporting this London protest on the day that the government will set out its plans for the economy.

Throughout austerity, the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘cost of living’ crisis, government’s policies have actively contributed to hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths. Join us to demand an end to deaths fuelled by poverty.

We will protest in London alongside Fuel Poverty Action, UNITE the union, National Pensioners Convention and others. We urge our supporters in other parts of the country to join other protests planned in:
Barnsley
Birmingham
Carlisle
Exeter
Glasgow
Leeds
Manchester
Norwich
Portsmouth
Sheffield

Contact e4a@fuelpovertyaction.org.uk to find an event near you.

Housing campaigners urge Labour Councillors to adopt the 5 Point Plan

Homes for All supporters lobby Labour Councillors at Warwick University, Coventry on Saturday 10 February 2024

Housing campaigners traveled to Coventry on Saturday 10 February to leaflet and lobby the Labour Party local government conference and to encourage Councillors to support the 5 Point Plan for council housing. The broad-based action was supported by SHAC, Homes for Us (NEF) and others.

Whilst we were met with a generally positive response to the campaign with Councillors wanting to see housing prioritised for their constituents – concerns were raised around the Labour leadership’s failure to announce any strategy to tackle the housing crisis.

What is clear though, is that campaigners are committed to building from this action and ensuring that housing is pushed up the political agenda in the forthcoming general election. We know that the past 14 years has resulted in an acute housing crisis which is unsustainable and requires a radical change in housing policy. We need to keep on building a united housing movement and fight for decent, safe and secure housing for all.

Lobby the Labour Party LG Conference – We want homes for all and council housing

The housing crisis is out of control. As the General Election approaches, campaigners are coming together to demand radical changes in housing policy. Some of the campaigns will involve calling on the Labour Party to break from 12 years of the government’s failed housing policies and offer a radical change.

Homes for All has called for a lobby of the Labour Party’s Local Government Conference in Coventry at Warwick University on Saturday 10 February 2024. It is supported by groups within Homes for All such as DCH, SHAC, Unite Community and others, and also by The New Economic Foundation (Homes for Us) who are funding the travel from London to Coventry and back.

To book a seat on the transport contact rebecca.winson@neweconomics.org and / or eileenshort@hotmail.com

We have an organising meeting on 2 February for people who are booked to come – see this page for details http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/get-involved/

APPG inquiry gathers momentum as more feedback meetings planned

Tenants and residents gather in Rochdale
Tenants and residents gather in Lancaster for anti-demolition meeting

In the latest feedback sessions local residents and councillors met in Southwark and Lancaster.

The Lancaster meeting highlighted more demolition and sell off threats to a local estate.

We have since learned of a decision to demolish six blocks in Leeds, and emergency evacuation of a Bristol estate block.

Further Inquiry sessions are planned, including the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) and also in Manchester, Luton, Reading and Bristol .

The deadline for responses has been extended. There is still time to organise a feedback session in your area.

The deadline for email and written submissions is 5th January 2024. You can respond in as much detail as you like. 

By email to matt.western.mp@parliament.uk   or by post to Council Housing Inquiry c/o DCH PO Box 33519 London E2 9WW More details here: https://mattwestern.org/news-article/appg-for-council-housing-inquiry/

APPG Inquiry launch report

Islington Homes for All Action and Sleep-Out outside the Ministry of Justice 20 October

Join Islington Homes for All on Friday 20 October at 3pm outside the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to hand in petition signatures calling on the MoJ to lease 28 empty 3 and 4-bed ex-prison flats to Islington Council for families in need – as had been originally agreed!

We will then have a sleep-out to highlight the scale of homelessness and increase in stress for people being forced to live in unaffordable, overcrowded, insecure and temporary accommodation.

Meet at MoJ, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ at 3pm, Friday 20 October

Bring your sleeping bags – and/or join later for the Sleep-Out.

Please share and sign the leaflet and petition for the 28 Empty Flats here https://forms.gle/TrRkpGY8dKr1au3E7

More about the 28 empty prison flats here

Join the movement for council housing – Action charter for the housing crisis

Defend Council Housing (DCH) and Homes for All (H4A) welcome the launch by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Council Housing of an MPs inquiry into the need for council housing. This initiative has the potential to be spell out the facts about the present state of housing, and detail how to fix the housing crisis.

We are seeing the return to the slum, overcrowded, insecure living conditions of the 19th century that drove the mass council housing movement in the first place.

Whether you are in housing need yourself, horrified that millions are, or deeply concerned for future generations, join the movement for urgent action to address the housing crisis.

DCH and H4A is a broad coalition of tenants and residents – uniting over issues such as: Refurbish don’t demolish; Campaign against empty homes; Fire safety justice; Justice for Grenfell; End ‘no fault evictions’.

Support our 5 Point Plan which aims to provide concrete proposals to help solve the housing crisis.

1. Government investment in a mass council housing building programme, including requisitioning of empty homes and abolition of ‘right to buy’
2. Rent controls and secure tenancies in the private rental sector. Robust regulation of housing associations
3. New funding to repair and refurbish existing council housing – do not demolish
4. Adequate funding for accessibility, fire safety, and for retrofitting and thermal insulation
5. Planning for the people and the planet, and not for developers’ profits

More information on the APPG Inquiry

Read the report of the launch of the Inquiry and the interim report by academics. Read the Interim Report with contributions from: Prof Danny Dorling, Oxford; Dr Richard Goulding, Univ of Sheffield; Dr Neil Gray, Glasgow; Dr Stuart Hodkinson, Univ of Leeds, Dr Joe Penny, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL; Dr Glyn Robbins, London; Prof Stewart Smyth, University College Cork; Prof Paul Watt, LSE

Article in Morning Star about the Inquiry:

The future of council housing: it’s time to speak up
EILEEN SHORT, of Defend Council Housing, and Dr GLYN ROBBINS report on a crucial all-party parliamentary group inquiry into council housing that’s currently seeking members of the public to have their say

Five Point Plan resources

Sign the online petition

Gove threatens to ‘Turbo-boost’ estate demolitions

Defend Council Housing activist, Paul Burnham explains what’s behind Michael Gove’s new plans for housing.

Paul speaking at a Haringey anti-demolition meeting in 2016

Leveling Up Secretary Michael Gove has unveiled a ‘long-term plan for housing’ based on ten principles – but his principles do NOT include providing a decent, secure and affordable home for everyone.

Instead, there will be additional subsidies to support the demolition of existing estates. We need to push back, and refurbish rather than demolish.

Gove wants to build garden villages such as ‘the outstanding Welborne development’ at Fareham in Hampshire, ‘championed by my colleague Suella Braverman’. There could be as little as 7.3% affordable housing in this 6,000-home scheme. Fareham Council’s own housing service even made a formal objection to the low level of affordable housing provision.

Building unaffordable housing is part of the problem.

Full article here – Michael Gove speech and estate demolitions 06/09/2023

March for the future of the homelessness sector

Homes for All urges supporters to join our banner on Saturday in solidarity with the St Mungo’s strikers.

St Johns Church, Waterloo Road, SE1 8TY, at 11.30, Saturday 2 September

The strikers should hold their heads high as they return to work. The St Mungo’s strikers have been an inspiration to the trade union movement and so much more. It is unfortunate that they did not resolve all their demands but they can return to a more united workplace. They have helped highlight the scale of homelessness and a housing sector that is now in crisis and exposed the disproportionate salaries of senior managers and the prestigious trustee jobs while low paid staff have been striking to save services for clients.

Occupation of prison flats draws attention to empty homes

Housing campaigners and Housing Rebellion climate campaigners took over empty Ministry of Justice flats on Saturday as part of the weekend of housing action workshops. A block of flats owned by the Ministry of Justice in Islington, that has been lying empty for ten years, was taken over by protesters. Supporters included Islington Homes for All, who have been campaigning for years to get the MoJ to allow Islington Council to take them over.

The Islington Citizen noted ‘Campaigners said it was a “disgrace” that the government has paid £600k for homes sitting empty near Pentonville prison for years, despite calls for them to be used to house families in need. The Ministry of Justice has paid £604,355 on council tax for the three- and four-bedroom former prison officers’ homes off Roman Way since 2016. Islington Council wants to see families living there and is calling on the government to sit down and talk about the flats’ future.’

Architects Journal also covered the protest, and included these words from Homes for All Coordinator Morag:

‘Islington Council has a waiting list of more than 15,000 households needing to access social housing.’ The flats ‘could be renovated, retrofitted, and [used to] get local families off the waiting list back into the local community. We don’t want private developers coming in. That will just gentrify the area or push working-class people out of the area, which is already happening through temporary accommodation because there is no council housing. We want everybody to have access to council housing.’

The BBC covered the occupation with an article on their website ‘Activists occupy homes left empty for a decade’

London Live interview (on Facebook) with Islington Homes for All on the 28 Empty, ex prison warden flats

See inside the Wellington Mews flats

Sign the Islington Homes for All petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to hand over the empty ex-Pentonville prison warden flats.