Urgent Statement: Corona Virus and Housing – Protect Tenants and Homes

Facing this viral pandemic, the Government must act urgently to ensure no 
one is left on the street homeless, and that no-one loses their home due 
to the virus.

Therefore we must have urgent action to:
•       Immediately open up hotels and other empty buildings to house all the homeless
•       Ensure no evictions or repossession action during this crisis: suspend 
rent and mortgage liability for anyone whose income is cut due to the 
virus
•       Scrap the five-week wait for Universal Credit/housing benefit and 
suspend all benefit sanctions

And as millions are living in overcrowded, unsuitable and unaffordable 
homes, we need immediate action with grant funding to:
•       Build 100,000 council homes a year at social rent with secure 
tenancies.


We stand united – we won’t blame each other, we need action by 
Government now.

Download the statement.

Charter for Housing Action 2020

Sign our updated Charter for Housing Action 2020. Let’s keep the pressure up on all political parties to make secure, truly affordable homes a reality for everyone.

If you agree with our demands for action, send an email or print out and post us the short form to add your name. Ask your MP and councillors, trade unions and local groups, to sign up in support too.

Next General Meeting – 14TH March, London

Our next meeting will be held on 14th March 2020, 11am – 1pm at:

School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS), 10 Thornhaugh St, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG

Let us know what’s happening locally, and if there are things you want to discuss.

Shelter have launched their London campaign, calling on the next 
mayor to strengthen policies for ‘social rent delivery’ and to end the 
conflation of so-called Affordable and London Living Rent.  Read the summary and the full report:

https://england.shelter.org.uk/professional_resources/policy_and_research/policy_library/policy_library_folder/report_a_capital_in_crisis

Our first organising meeting of 2020 on 18th January had a fantastic turnout, with people from Harlow, Southampton, Aldershot and Horsham, and at least 13 London boroughs, representing council, housing association and private tenants, councillors and trade unionists.  There was determination to build the campaign in the year ahead, and a good, open discussion about how to do this.

We agreed to:

  1.  Update the Charter for Housing Action for 2020

  2.  Send the Charter to Mayoral and council candidates, and to Labour leadership/deputy leadership contenders, asking for their endorsement. Also invite other groups to support and add their names.

  3.  Update “Vote Housing” flyer in time for May elections.

  4.  Need to form more contacts/links for national campaign against Universal Credit.

  5.  Support Justice for Grenfell in building and organising event in April in Kensington, raising critical issues around the inquiry, fire safety etc.

  6.  Attempt to open up discussion with Extinction Rebellion

  7.  Need to be vigilant about forthcoming demolition ballots, and share information asap.

  8.  Improve our social media operation.

  9.  Consider a possible housing hustings prior to May elections.

  10. Use the Charter and other material for local actions, stalls etc.



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

Screenshot 2019-09-30 at 23.15.46

 

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.