Defend Council Housing activist, Paul Burnham explains what’s behind Michael Gove’s new plans for housing.
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
Homes for All joined the St Mungo’s demo with other campaigners who were also invited to speak in support of the strike and wider issues. We called for proper funding and resources for homeless services, and decent, safe, secure housing for clients and workers.
It is that time of the year again when North Kensington welcomes over a million people from across the country and internationally to the Notting Hill carnival. The carnival takes place in the streets, in the borough Grenfell Tower. On both days there will be a 3-minute silence to remember the 72+ who died needlessly in the fire in 2017.
Love Music Hate Racism will be one of the floats on Sunday who will be partying with a purpose – racism played a role in the causes of the Grenfell Tower fire as well as the crisis that migrants and refugees face without a safe and secure home.
Homes for All joined up to 5,000 survivors, residents and others on the Grenfell Silent Walk, Wednesday 14 June 2023.
Six years on from the fire, it is now 72 months since 72 people lost their lives.
All those present vowed to continue the fight for justice and accountability.
As the walk moved off behind the United For Grenfell banner, marchers held placards proclaiming “This much evidence, still no charges”.
The mood was sombre. Many of the marchers, and many more local residents, wore green to symbolise determination to see justice for Grenfell. Firefighters formed an honour guard for the walk.
Speakers at the rally afterwards spelled out the culpability of the suppliers of the dangerous materials used at Grenfell; and the culpability of the local authority which allowed them to be used. There must be jail time, for justice to be done.
The government has already broken its pledge to implement the recommendations of the Grenfell Public Inquiry, because the owners and managers of high rise buildings have not been required to provide Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for all disabled residents.
Survivors spoke to the rally about their loved ones who died in the fire. Marcia Rigg from the United Friends and Families Campaign also spoke powerfully, linking Grenfell with the campaigns of those whose family members have died at the hands of the police.
Come and join Peter Apps, Deputy Editor of Inside Housing as he discusses his acclaimed book
Peter Apps reported on fire safety before Grenfell and afterwards. He helped to unpick the lie that flammable cladding had been banned, and so the government had a case to answer about why such materials were on the tower.
Peter reported on the harrowing evidence presented at the public inquiry, detailing every shift and evasion of civil servants and by the manufacturers about how the disaster was allowed to happen.
The chapters in Peter’s book alternate between a sympathetic account of the experience of those inside the tower who were exposed to the horrors of the fire, combined with a detailed examination of how our housing, economic and political systems facilitated the tragedy.
The book is essential reading for all those who are campaigning for justice for the 72 people who died, and to ensure that this never happens again.
Peter will be speaking in person at Bookmarks Bookshop and the event will also be live streamed.
Tuesday 23 May, 6:30pm at Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street London WC1B 3QE
Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) is campaigning to prevent social rent rises of around 10.4% next April. Service charges are uncapped and could rise by any amount. There should be no rent or service charge rises in a cost-of-living crisis.
Please Sign the SHAC Pledge for non-payment of rent or service charge increases. You can view the Pledge here.
Rents for council and housing association tenants are set to rise by 11% or more in April 2023. This would be an intolerable further burden for four million tenant households already facing massive bills for food, energy and other necessities.
Wednesday, 14 SEPTEMBER 2022 AT 12:00
Cost of living crisis: Time to freeze council and housing association rents for four million
Department of Levelling Up, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF
Defend Council Housing demands: 1. Government action to freeze rents and service charges, and compensate Council Housing Revenue Accounts for this essential freeze in the pending rent rise. 2. Council landlords agree now to freeze rents for April 2023, pause all eviction proceedings for rent arrears, and join us to press for Government action. 3. All Councils to contact housing associations operating locally, urging them to likewise freeze rents and halt evictions for rent arrears. We recognise that these issues will also affect private renters and leaseholders. We will work with tenant groups and campaigners of all tenures to win a rent freeze, stop evictions, protect tenants from profiteering private landlords and leaseholders from increasing service charges.
There should be no rent or service charge rises in a cost-of-living crisis. Please sign the SHAC Pledge for non-payment of rent or service charge increases. You can view the Pledgehere. And find out more information on the Website https://shaction.org/
UPDATE: Tenants will be at the Department of Levelling Up on Wed 14 September 12 noon. DCH and SHAC will present our joint letter. Join us if you can, because the rents crisis hasn’t paused. There will be a second protest on Thursday 6 October, when inflation figures are released, when we expect more speakers, MPs and media to be in attendance.
Cost of living crisis: Time to freeze council and housing association rents for four million tenants.
Action on: Wednesday SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 AT 12 PM
At The Department of Levelling Up, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF
Ongoing campaign to force Ministry of Justice to sell 28 empty flats as originally planned to Islington Council for families in housing need.
Islington Homes for All staged a protest on 14 May at Pentonville Prison. 28 flats have stood empty for years and the Ministry of Justice has reneged on its promise to sell them to Islington Council, choosing instead to make a deal with a developer who will pay more money and doubtless make them into luxury flats, rather than the council homes so desperately needed.
Islington Homes for All is part of a national Campaign Against Empty Homes which has mobilised housing campaigners and local residents to highlight the scandal of thousands of empty homes across the UK. At the same time thousands of people are forced to live in unaffordable, insecure and temporary accommodation.
Since Islington Council have declined the developers’ planning application Islington Homes for All are fighting for the MoJ to return to their original agreement and hand the 3 and 4 bedroom flats back to Islington Council.
You can help the campaign by signing and sharing the Change.org petition and by helping to build the next Campaign Against Empty Homes Day of Action in your area in October 2022 (Date to be confirmed)