Campaign Against Empty Homes day of action – Sat 9th October

October 9th 2021, 11am Day of Action – We are in a climate, health and housing emergency!

We have decided to bring together all the organisations that took part in our first successful Day of Action in April 2021 and draw more local and national organisations into a national coalition called ‘Campaign Against Empty Homes’. Whether it is a local community group or a national organisation, we want everyone on board for 9 October, who wants empty homes to be brought back into use.

Unite have kindly donated some money so we can produce publicity and get the message out. We have lots of leaflets you can use to promote the day of action., and you can give out the same leaflets on the day of action itself. Scroll down to see a pdf of the leaflet. Our main partners, Action on Empty Homes are working hard with us to plan for the day. We will be doing a press launch very soon.

We will be having an online rally on YouTube and Facebook on 9th October, just like we did on 17th April, and we are inviting you to live stream your local protest into the rally.

We are calling the 9th October Day of Action for four reasons:

1) Over 100,000 families are living in Temporary Accommodation while over half a million homes have no permanent resident.

2) The wrong kind of housing is being built across the country – they are unaffordable to anyone on an average income to either rent or buy. These new builds are also being sold off-plan and ending up as Airbnb short lets, second homes or buy to leave empty wealth investments with no permanent residents.

3) Communities are being broken up as council estates that could be refurbished are being left to decline, to be replaced by yet more unaffordable new build.

4) The Climate emergency demands refurbishment, not demolition. Retrofitting 270,000 long term empty homes and council estates can help solve the climate crisis.

We will hold street actions highlighting all of these issues and hold a national rally calling for empty homes to be used by those living in temporary and overcrowded accommodation and to meet the climate emergency.

The Day of Action is also to raise public awareness of the rising number of long-term empty homes and homes without a permanent resident in England. Government and market data show there are around:

*270,000 long-term empty homes
*260,000 second-homes with no permanent resident
*120,000 Airbnb type short-lets (London Councils estimate there are over 70,000 short-lets in London alone)
We also want a national register of landlords and beneficial owners and much tighter regulation of Airbnb.

If you want to call a street protest to be part of the day of action on 9th October, please let us know. We can live stream your protest into an online rally.

Local street protests will be POSTED HERE

  1. Southwark: Campaign Against Empty Homes: Repopulate the Aylesbury Estate! Fill Empty Council Homes, 10:45am, Saturday 9th October, Outside Thurlow Lodge, 1 Thurlow Street, SE17 2US Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/405314640978545/

Everything you need to plan a street protest and live stream it is here

https://www.actiononemptyhomes.org/News/day-of-action-october-9th

If you are a TRADE UNIONIST or part of another campaign and would like to propose support in your organisation, please use this MODEL RESOLUTION

Skypool protest attracts attention for fire safety whilst Newsnight gives over whole programme to leaseholders

Nine Ems protest 21 August 2021. Photo (and fantastic speech!) by Reece Lipman

The Nine Elms protest made the BBC News website and served to highlight the building safety crisis and and the wider housing crisis. Insurmountable cladding bills, estate managers ignoring broken fire alarms, construction defects, “affordable” housing residents being denied access to basic facilities – All of the companies present in one way or another in Nine Elms have been notorious for this. Protesters were joined by Wandsworth Housing Action and local Wandsworth Labour Councillor Maurice McLeod as well as Tony O’Brien from Hazards. Great to see you there! Action on Fire Safety Justice is a force to be reckoned with!

Newsnight covered the fire safety issue in full, it took up the WHOLE programme, and gave a platform to leaseholders facing life changing bills.

Newsnight 2nd September 2021 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09txmcm

The protest on 16th September is gathering support. Be there!

https://endourcladdingscandal.org/newsfeed/leaseholders-together-rally-16-september-2021/

Leaseholders Together Rally: 16 September 2021

Join the Leaseholders Together rally on Thursday 16 September 2021 (1pm-4pm) in Parliament Square, London!

Join Fire Safety Campaigners at Skypool this Saturday, 21 August

Protest at Skypool Sat 21 August, 12pm

Nine Elms is like a whirlpool of developers and housing associations who are complicit in both the building safety crisis and in a wider housing crisis. Insurmountable cladding bills, estate managers ignoring broken fire alarms, construction defects, “affordable” housing residents being denied access to basic facilities – All of the companies present in one way or another in Nine Elms have been notorious for this.

Action on Fire Safety Justice ask for your support!

Protest @ Skypool!

Saturday August 21 at 12 PM

Embassy Gardens / 3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms

London SW11 7AY

Details of the protest here: https://www.facebook.com/events/938928363372242/

Action: Fire safety campaigners to target Sky Pool and developers, 21 August

PROTEST AT NINE ELMS, SW8 TO DEMAND DEVELOPERS PAY FOR OR FIX BUILDING SAFETY DEFECTS AND MAKE OUR HOMES SAFE!

Nine Elms Developer Protest – MAKE THEM PAY!
12pm, Saturday 21 August
3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AY

Facebook event

Homes for All is supporting Action for Fire Safety Justice, which held a successful day of action at developer showrooms in June and a demonstration at Downing Street in July.

Hundreds of thousands of leaseholders across England & Wales are being forced to pay thousands of pounds for interim measures and remedial work to make their homes safe because of building safety issues they could not possibly have known about before purchasing.

As well as living with the knowledge that their homes are unsafe to live in, leaseholders – many first time buyers with young families, who have purchased their homes through the Government-backed Affordable Home Schemes – also face crippling insurance premiums, huge costs for interim measures and bills in the thousands of pounds to carry out the remedial work. Until the work is done, the flats are unsaleable – meaning that leaseholders are trapped in limbo, unable to sell, remortgage or “staircase”.

Affected leaseholders, tenants and their supporters in the group Action for Fire Safety Justice are holding a demonstration at Nine Elms, Battersea, SW8 on Saturday 21st August at 12:00 Noon, to demand that those responsible for the Building Safety Scandal pay to resolve the issues they caused and reimburse leaseholders for the thousands of pounds they have already paid.

Developers with new developments at Nine Elms include Barratts, Bellway, Berkeley, Ballymore and Taylor Wimpey who all have developments with fire safety issues. Three of these developers have had serious fires occur on other developments they built in the last 2 years. Nine Elms is also home to the now infamous suspended swimming pool, the Sky Pool, built by Ballymore, which launched within weeks of the horrific fire at its New Providence Wharf development a short distance away.

Action for Fire Safety Justice demands

NO MORE GRENFELLS
Our homes must be made safe immediately – before new homes are built! And no more homes should be built using flammable materials. #JusticeForGrenfell
WE CANNOT PAY
Those responsible for building our homes with flammable materials must pay to fix the problems they caused!
DEVELOPERS MUST PAY!
Bellway, Barratts, Ballymore, Berkeley, Taylor Wimpey… must all pay to fix the building safety defects they caused and replace the flammable materials they used to build our homes.

Homes for All supports Early Day motion on Crane safety

East London Advertiser reports on the vigil at the first anniversary of the crane collapse killing June Harvey in Bow. https://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/june-harvey-vigil-8130430

EDM (Early Day Motion)286 was tabled on 06 July 2021. It says:

That this House notes with deepest regret that 8 July 2021 marks the tragic death of June Harvey after a tower crane fell on her house in Bow in 2020; further notes with sadness other fatalities as a result of crane collapses; pays tribute to the construction safety campaign, largely led by bereaved relatives and trade unions, raising concerns about the under-regulation of health and safety in the construction industry amidst a reduction in inspections and reductions in the Health and Safety Executive’s resources, particularly since 2010; and calls on the Government to ensure that legislation and guidance regulating cranes are robust and that the HSE has the resources for vigorous enforcement.

It has been signed by 13 MPs so far. You are urged to contact your MP to ask them to sign it.

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/58736

Homes for All joins leaseholders and tenants outside Downing Street to say “Developers must pay”

Demonstrators in Wales, Leeds and Chelmsford keep up the pressure for government to end the cladding scandal

A wave of protests across the country greeted the first reading of the Building Safety Bill, which does next to nothing to help leaseholders facing life-changing bills for fire safety remediation. The Action for Fire Safety Justice group helped to coordinate the protests and pledged to continue them until their demands are met.

Pictures from the London protest by photojournalist Mark Kerrison.

ITV Report from Leeds protest, with interview with Hilary Benn MP, Saturday 17 June.

The Protest in Wales on Saturday was joined by two Cardiff politicians

Meanwhile a flashmob descended on the Novello sales centre in Chelmsford, including Chelmsford TUC, where protesters were able to speak to six potential buyers and let them know that Bellway was still building homes with flammable cladding. Given that the protest was not advertised beforehand, the turnout was pretty impressive!

Chelmsford showroom protest, 17 July 2021

Steve Day from Polluter Pays Bill joined our Homes for All meeting the same day and we agreed to publicise the campaign here. Steve wrote to us:

“The Building Safety Bill is the Government’s last chance to remedy this grave injustice of the Building Safety Crisis by implementing a solution that places the burden of dealing with the crisis on the shoulders of those who caused it. Only legislation can make those developers that built unsafe buildings pay for the cost of their failures. They took the profits and now must be made to compensate their innocent victims. If no action is taken, the slow drumroll of forfeitures, evictions, bankruptcies, mounting mental health problems, and even suicides will be placed at the Government’s door.

Campaigners with the help of experts and counsel have devised and pushed forward a Polluter Pays Bill which the government are actively considering to include in the Building Safety Bill. The proposal, is based on existing environmental legislation, where a wide pool of those responsible for causing the problem in the first place bear the responsibility to cover the costs of putting it right – in this case, placing the responsibility with developers, subcontractors, materials suppliers and architects, as opposed to innocent leaseholders or the taxpayer.

The proposal has already won the backing of 14 cross party back benchers and 4 peers and has been tabled twice in Parliament, but not yet debated on. Campaigners are urging Government to add these clauses to the Building Safety Bill, as it will bring in much needed consumer protection for buildings common to many other kinds of purchases. It takes the burden away from innocent leaseholders for pursuing litigation, doesn’t require tax payer funds and doesn’t make other innocent parties pay to bail out the construction industry’s failures. It will also free up existing funding for non-defective buildings and where no responsible party can be found.

In the end, it has to be right for all those that breach building regulations be made to pay in full for fixing their mistakes. This bill will achieve that, the government have a moral duty to include it.
How you can help!

1) Write and get everyone you know to write to their MPs to urge the government to include Polluter Pays In the Building Safety Bill.

2) Get pressure groups onboard with the bill. This is the fight of a generation for future building as well as clearing up the mess of the last 20 years.

3) Share our website and raise awareness : https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/

Background information on the building safety campaign:

Campaign group Action for Fire Safety Justice FBhttps://www.facebook.com/FireSafetyJustice/ Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ActionFSJ?s=20

Building Safety Crisis map of buildings https://buildingsafetymap.co.uk/

Protests are going on all across the country – find out where https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/events/

Action: Cladding campaigners to take the fight to Downing Street 15 July

We are calling everyone who can make it down to support this important protest.

The Building Safety Bill is getting a hearing this week, but it doesn’t protect leaseholders, it protects developers. We must demand that developers pay, not innocent leaseholders, and that tenants and leaseholders have the right to safe, secure housing NOW. Action for Fire Safety Justice is the group that organised the developer showroom protests on 5th June. Now we are supporting them as they take the fight to 10 Downing Street.

Action for Fire Safety JusticeFire Safety Crisis Protest

12 pm, Thursday 15 July

10 Downing Street, SW1A 2AA

15th July Fire Safety Crisis Protest Facebook event with details https://fb.me/e/PgHPjLpJ

Background information

Building Safety Crisis map of buildings https://buildingsafetymap.co.uk/

Protests are going on all across the country – find out where https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/events/

http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/uncategorized/endourcladdingscandal-time-to-fight-for-fire-safety/

Homes for All stands in solidarity with Grenfell on 14th June

Four Years and still no justice or change

Grenfell United called a silent march on the day and in an incredibly moving display of solidarity and anger, people across the country came together for vigils and protests to stand with the bereaved and survivors and to remember the 72 lost lives.

A common theme of the protests was that the real perpetrators of social murder are getting away with it, but innocent people remain trapped in unsafe homes and in some cases forced to pay thousands to make their own buildings safe. There is no reason to suppose that another Grenfell tragedy will be avoided. It is only a matter of time.

At Homes for All we are proud to be part of the continuing fight for justice for Grenfell and the struggle to make all housing safe, without the huge financial costs being passed on to the leaseholders, and in some cases, the tenants. The Grenfell fire was the result of a thoroughly corrupt system of housing in this country, where the profits of construction firms, manufacturers, developers and landlords are the main priority, safety comes a poor second and the government ensures they keep getting away with it through a totally inadequate regulatory regime.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Grenfell community for fighting to get these facts into the open. We will fight on.

Media coverage

BBC News on End Our Cladding Scandal YouTube – with Ed Daffarn and New Providence Wharf

BBC London News with Nabil Choucair, bereaved and Moyra Samuels (Homes for All / Grenfell Campaigner)

Firefighters honour guard, Grenfell

Local vigils and protests

Manchester
Haringey, North London
Liverpool
Barking, London
Milton Keynes
Southwark, London
Tower Hamlets, London