Government plans to resume legal evictions from 23 August 2020 will escalate the housing crisis. Our joint letter, arguing “It’s not too late to step back from the brink, and ensure no-one loses their home due to the Coronavirus crisis”, is already co-signed by Shelter, the Big Issue, John McDonnell MP, Ken Loach, several Black Lives Matter groups, unions and others. Can you and your group add your support?
Get in touch if there are housing issues we can help with, or if you need a hand. Government plans to resume legal evictions from 23 August, will escalate the housing crisis. Tenants are at the front end of this crisis. Millions are broke, insecure and hungry, as inequality is aggravated by the health and economic crisis.
We want to step up pressure for Government action to stop a wave of evictions, suspend rents for those losing income, pay housing and other benefits from day one, and start work to create 100,000 new council homes. The Prime Minister is promising more investment in public infrastructure – but still leaving council housing off his list. We will work out ways to step up the pressure for investment in new and reclaimed council homes.
At the Grenfell inquiry this week, a QC for the families said “Grenfell is inextricably linked with race. It is the elephant in the room.” That’s why, on Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 7pm on the monthly anniversary of the atrocity, we’re holding an online public meeting, “Grenfell, Housing and Racism”.
Our speakers will be Apsana Begum (MP for Poplar and Limehouse), Abbas Dadou (Chair of a Residents Association near the tower), Kasim Ali (Kensington and Chelsea Councillor), Tanya Murat (Defend Council Housing) and Moyra Samuels (local resident and Stand Up to Racism). We’ll also be joined from the USA by Chivona Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter in New York City.
It promises to be a really interesting and inspiring meeting. Please try to come along and help spread the word. The meeting will be live streamed on the Homes for All Facebook page and YouTube channel, links below:
If you’re on Twitter, there’s a link here you can retweet:
Also earlier this week, the influential National Infrastructure Commission, which advises the government, said council houses are the “only way to reach 300,000 homes goal” (The Times, 8.7.20). In response, Defend Council Housing sent out the following press release:
Sunday 14th June marks three years since the fire at Grenfell Tower. Victims and survivors do not all have permanent homes yet – and three years on, still no-one has been held to account for what happened.
For those who can’t get there, at 6pm 80 London churches will ring bells 72 times to mark those who died. If you are in London, can you organise with others to take banners or posters and stand outside while the bells ring?
Or organise something where you are – making sure you safely observing 2m distancing. Or hold up a solidarity sign from your home or doorstep – and send a selfie photos and messages to Grenfell, and to us here, or on our Facebook page or through Twitter.
Join our online meeting on Tuesday 2nd June, 6.30pm with Mark Slater of Rochdale Seven Sisters campaign; Will McMahon Action on Empty Homes; Labour Homelessness campaign, and Tanya Murat Southwark DCH.
Despite the crisis and lockdown, Housing Association landlords are pushing through rent rises; NottingHill Genesis (NHG) is threatening outrageous 25% rises for NHS staff, teachers and other key workers. Tenant protests have forced NHG to delay these – but tenants are determined to stop this rank profiteering. Do get in touch if you or people you know are affected, or if you can help their campaign.
And you can write to Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, and copy it to your own MP, council leader (and us!). We need to keep up pressure to ensure thousands don’t face evictions at the end of June, and to get funding for a new generation of council homes.
Housing pressures are mounting as the health crisis continues. Millions are losing pay, and can’t afford the rent. Or are in unsafe, overcrowded homes. We need to increase pressure on our politicians to act, and support each other to avert misery.
On Saturday 2nd May at 11am our next organising meeting will be held via Zoom. Meeting details will be emailed to our mailing list – email us to join.
With estates still being emptied and demolished, and some sitting empty, along with thousands of other empty homes, we’ll hear from campaigns about how we stop the demolition and get people rehoused now.
We are making our statement into an online petition to Parliament, and will need your help to get lots of people signing, to force Government to address it. It is waiting for Parliament to process it; once it’s live, we will send the link.
Under mounting pressure, Government has made some steps:
Action to provide a roof for street homeless, at local discretion. No move for the thousands in cramped temporary accommodation, sharing rooms, kitchens and bathrooms with other household
Mortgage payers can request a limited ‘holiday’
Ministers are ‘guiding’ courts not to process the 20,000 evictions in the pipeline. Further evictions are delayed for three months. Renters are still being hassled to pay rent they can’t afford
No shift on five-week wait for Universal Credit; you can ask for an advance, to be deducted from future payments
Work on luxury housing and other non-essential projects continues, but no commitment yet on funding for future council housing
So this is still urgent, and our united voice can send an important message. We will update you on when the petition is ready for you to circulate and add your name.