We were pleased to receive support from Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary (above), Mick Lynch, RMT (Left), Ben Selby FBU, Onay Kasab, UNITE, Zarah Sultana MP and of course Jeremy Corbyn MP who also agreed to speak on our demo in London.
With 2 weeks to go, we are asking everyone to help build the demo.
Haringey and Southwark Councils have now announced 7% rent increases – this is the maximum proposed by the Dept of “Levelling Up” and which sets a worrying precedent. Swindon Council has plumped for 5%, far short of the rent freeze we are fighting for.
We are calling on the Trade Union Movement and Local Authorities to support the Day of Action to Demand a Rent & Service Charge Freeze.
🔰 Leaflets and documents can be found for the day of action can be found here
📩 Email the leaflet to your local Trade Union, Housing Group and Local Authority.
🚩 Join us leafleting on Saturday 1st Feb, national strike day – in London meet on church stairs at Portland Place outside the BBC at 11am.
📢 Homes for All has booked a table at the TUC and Stand Up to Racism ‘Fighting for anti-racist workplaces’ conference at SOAS, Thornaugh St, London on Saturday 4 Feb at 9am. Can you be there? email firstname.lastname@example.org
As the social emergency intensifies, more and more of us find it harder to cover the basics – living on poverty wages and inadequate benefits. In many places rents are rising faster than inflation, private landlords force prospective tenants to pay for viewings and tenants in social housing are faced with a 7% rent rise in April 2023. We came together to protest at the Department of Levelling Up in October and we supported the London Renters Union and Greater Manchester Tenants Union on their Rent Freeze Day of Action on 3 December.
Homes for All invited housing groups and trade unions to a Round Table to talk about what we could all do next. We were joined by representatives from Defend Council Housing, Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC), Grenfell Community Campaigners, UNISON, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), UNITE Community, Action on Empty Homes, Fuel Poverty Action, University of Manchester Rent Strike, Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), NASUWT, Deputy Leader of Islington Council, Labour Campaign for Council Housing and others.
The group agreed to call a Day of Action on 11 February 2023 to demand a rent freeze and call attention to associated housing issues such as poor conditions, mould, reduced services and fire safety. A letter has been written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to demand that the government fund a rent and service charge freeze.
This demand builds on the example from Scotland where the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act was passed on October 2022, freezing rent until March 2023, with regulations allowing an extension until March 2024. This is a fantastic win for Living Rent Scotland, shows the impact of political pressure from the housing movement and also how the Labour Party, who proposed the policy, can support a 0% rent rise. We also welcome Sadiq Khan’s call for a rent freeze for private renters and a rent rebate for social housing which in effect is a rent freeze.
There will be a Tweet storm on Tuesday 24 January (9am -11am) to build for the Day of Action. If you would like to take part in the Tweet storm and be sent Twitter assets please email email@example.com
Use these hashtags: #RentFreezeNow #ServiceChargeFreeze #StopEvictions #FundRepairs
Contact us to support the rent freeze, join the Day of Action on Saturday 11 February 2023 in London or to organise in your own area firstname.lastname@example.org
London Renters Union are stepping up the action for a rent freeze on Saturday 3 December. Homes for All expressed solidarity with LRU and all private renters facing massive rent rises at a time they can least afford it. We want all housing campaigners to gather in a united fight for a rent and service charge freeze across the tenures.
Scotland’s tenants have already won a rent freeze and even London’s Mayor is asking the government to allow him to implement a rent rebate.
There are six actions in London this Saturday 3 December. Please do your best to join one!
LRU says “Landlords and estate agents are using the cost of living crisis as an excuse to put up rents. They’re out of control. Renters are fighting back and demanding a rent freeze.”
Join your local action, 3 December:
Brent: 12pm, Willesden Green station
Lewisham: 11:30am, Vicar’s Oak entrance to Crystal Palace Park
Hackney: 12pm, the platform on Mare Street next to Hackney Tap
Haringey: 10:30am, Pret A Manger, the Mall, Wood Green
Newham: 12pm, Stratford Station, opposite the old shopping centre
Grenfell United bereaved families and survivors have responded to the closing statements at the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
The survivors say that the government was warned countless times of the danger to human life through deregulation, but they turned a blind eye and let corporates game the system.
Not a single recommendation from the phase 1 report has been implemented.
The survivors say, ‘The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea treated us like second class citizens. They refused to invest in Grenfell Tower for 30 years, and when they did they wrapped it in petrol.’
‘This phase might be over, but the battle for justice is not, and we will continue until those culpable are prosecuted.’
Homes for All sends our solidarity to the survivors and bereaved and we remain committed to the continuing fight for justice.
The Campaign Against Empty Homes highlighted the half a million empty and underused homes in an online rally with live streams from community campaigns across the London.
Speakers in the studio included Paula Peters from DPAC, Rachel Maskell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP who appeared a second time at Pentonville Prison empty flats in support of Islington Homes for All. Support also came from John Bird of The Big Issue, The Green Party, Phoebe Watkins from UNISON and the North Devon and Torridge Housing Crisis group.
Campaigners, including in Southwark, Waltham Forest and Lambeth staged protests outside empty homes.
On Saturday 22 October we have a national online rally with national and international speakers from 12 noon to 1 pm taking place on Youtube and Facebook and we will also be live streaming from local campaigners into the rally with local protests about empty and underused homes
What you can do to help make the day a success:
Promote the day / Join an Action * Take action in your area * Join the online national rally.
1. Promote the day of action on your social media – please share details about the day of action on your Facebook page, Twitter and other social media. Action on Empty Homes or Homes for All Twitter feed and Facebook page is one place to start.
2. Join one of the local actions that are taking place – you will be able to find details of where, when and how here https://www.campaignagainstemptyhomes.org/ early next week. Local action is expected to take place in Southampton, Westminster, Southwark, Seaford, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Waltham Forest, Lambeth, Haringey, Newham, Brighton, Horsham, Wandsworth.
3. It is not too late to plan an action in your area – you do not need large numbers of people to make the point – we can supply you with posters and leaflets if you need them (or you can make your own) but you must get your order in next week. You can see the materials here: https://www.campaignagainstemptyhomes.org/campaign-materials. They are an A3 poster, A4 leaflet and a double-sided A5 leaflet.
Taking a photo outside an empty block of flats or building that people could live in, or sharing a short video of how your community has been hit by short lets or second homes is good enough. Let us have them so we can put them on the website. Email us at email@example.com.
4. Live stream your local action – we can bring you right into the studio to show everyone watching your protest taking place – it is not difficult to do – we can let you have details of how to live stream your action.
5. Join the online rally at noon. We will have national speakers from The Big Issue, The Green Party, Peace & Justice, People Before Profit (Dublin) the labour movement, DPAC, and others, plus international speakers who all have things to say about why we need to bring empty homes back into use and stop housing from being used as investment vehicles rather than homes to live in at a time of mass homelessness. It will be broadcast on Action for Empty Homes Youtube and Homes For all Facebook.
The protest, on 6th October at the Department of Leveling Up was part of a campaign to protect tenants from rent rises and evictions, and for all service charges to be frozen. It comes at a time when people’s rents and mortgages are set to soar following the chaotic mini budget announcement. Campaigners will be heartened to hear that the Tories have also descended into chaos and their planned cuts to benefits, wages and public services are also under threat. Will a bigger revolt by workers and campaigners help to finish off the Truss government?
It’s time to freeze council and housing association rents for four million tenant households – but government is set to increase our rents by 5% or 10%. We say it’s time to freeze all rents and service charges. Let’s organise to stop these huge rent rises from ever taking place. Government must provide funding so that service standards are not reduced.
No rent or service charge rises in a cost of living crisis!
Department of Levelling Up, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF