Open Letter from Faith Leaders on The Housing Act

 

17th October 2016

 

The Housing and Planning Act may be well intended, but desperately needs re-thinking; as currently conceived it is a piece of damaging, divisive and unworkable legislation, which far from improving things is actually set to make the housing crisis worse.  

Warnings about unintended consequences are being sounded by well-respected organisations like the Chartered Institute of Housing, Shelter, and the Local Government Association.  Housing is fundamental to our dignity and identity as human beings, and a fair and transparent housing policy underpins the flourishing of all communities; yet the current policy threatens to undermine our attempts to create a socially-cohesive society where the needs of the most economically vulnerable are afforded a special place.

We have many concerns about the legislation, but these 3 in particular need to be addressed:

 

  1. Under the current Act it is almost certain that Council and Housing Association tenants will suffer massive rent rises, a form of “tenants’ tax” which will penalise those on moderate incomes and price long-standing local families out of their own neighbourhoods  

 

  1. Introducing greater flexibility in to the social housing market may be a laudable aim, but reducing security of tenure is a questionable way of achieving it

 

  1. It is essential to build more homes, but the drive to home ownership is driven by political philosophy rather than the best interests of residents.  The Act effectively transfers community assets out of social housing in to so-called “starter homes”, costing up to £450,000, but these will be unaffordable to many people who will now have little option other than to expose themselves to the private rented sector

 

We need a Housing Act that meets the needs of millions, not only the few, and offers a genuinely sustainable alternative to the endemic uncertainty of the housing market.  The Prime Minister has said she is committed to leading a government for the many, not the few.  The Housing Act stands in contradiction to this and we urge the Government to think again.  

 

Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, OBE, Chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum

Sanjay Jagatia, Director/Secretary General, Hindu Council UK  

Most Revd Peter Smith, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark

Revd Michaela Youngson, London District Chair, Methodist Church

Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Revd Dr Andrew Prasad, Moderator, United Reformed Church Thames North Synod

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, OBE, Director, Al-Khoei Foundation

Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden

Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon

Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston

Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark

Malcolm M Deboo, President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe

Revd Nicola Furley-Smith, Moderator, United Reformed Church Southern Synod

Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking

Very Revd David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s

Revd Les Isaac OBE, CEO Ascension Trust

Ven Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Associate Archdeacon of London

Archbishop Fidelia N Onyuku-Opukiri, Worldwide of Born Again Christ Healing Church International

Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches Moderator

Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton

Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington

Rt Revd Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington

________________________________________________________________

 

Letter available to download here : 161017 Letter from faith leaders re housing and planning act

 

Housing Summit – October 22nd 2016, London

AtHA_summit_twitter1

 

Axe The Housing Act will be holding our first national summit on October 22nd in London.

11.00 a.m Hamilton House

Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

 

All are welcome to attend.

The Summit will be a day of discussions, workshops, panels and plan making for future actions against the implementation of the Housing Act.

Do you have a housing story to share? Are you a campaigner looking for support with your action? Do you need more information about the Housing Act and how it will affect you? Come to the summit and let’s discuss the issues at hand and what we can all do together to stop this Act in it’s tracks.

 

Summit Schedule

11.00     Registration (tea and coffee)

11.30     Welcome: Introduction and aims of the Summit

11.40     The Housing & Planning Act – Panel. Why it’s wrong and what we can do. With key note speakers and guests.

12.20     Questions and Discussion

13.00     Break

13.30     Workshops focusing on:

– The Housing Act, The Planning system, Regeneration and Social Cleansing
– Housing Associations – how will the act hit and what can we do?
– Young people, private renters and the struggle for homes.
– Council Housing

– How to organise and beat the Act

15.00     Feedback from Workshops

15.30     Next Steps to resist the Act

16.15     Closing Summary

 

The Summit will also be hosting stalls from Unite Community, Crime and Justice Network, Unite the Resistance, Stand Up to Racism, Defend Council Housing and more.

 

Please find below a letter of invitation to the summit for you to download and send to your MP or local councillors:

AtHA_summit_letter_3Sept2016

Please find here our Facebook event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/330504723966704/

Map and directions to Hamilton House available to download here: Hamilton-House-London

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Jeremy Hardy on The Housing Act

“As someone who was born into social housing, I have always seen it  as respectable accommodation for respectable people, not an investment opportunity wasted on people so feckless as to have born without family money.

At what point will someone realise that a city cannot function unless the people who make it liveable have somewhere to live? “


–  Jeremy Hardy on the need and the value of social housing

 

c1

 

Unite Housing Crisis Roadshow

jcr

Check out Unite Community’s Housing Crisis Roadshow – now touring towns across South East England.

More info and destinations available here.