Homes for All, SHAC and Defend Council Housing unite to demand rent and service charge freeze

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?

Inside Housing article:

Join the second protest for a #RentFreeze on 6 October!

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


Facebook event

Housing groups demand a rent freeze

Eileen Short from Defend Council Housing and Suz Muna from Social Housing Action Campaign present letter to Simon Clarke MP Secretary of State for Levelling Up

The housing crisis has not been paused. Housing activists and tenants protested outside the Department of Levelling Up on 14 September demanding a rent & service charge freeze and a moratorium on evictions for rent arrears. Crucially, we also demanded government funding to ensure there is no impact on housing quality and services.

We went to the Housing Ministry (Dept of ‘Levelling Up’) to say rents must be frozen. Tenants are facing an 11 % rent rise next April. We started to campaign, and the wobbly government was driven to consult on capping rents. Help us step up the campaign, and we can win this! We will be back on 6 October at 12 noon, when inflation figures are announced. Come and join us.

Eileen Short, DCH

More photos of the protest here:

A copy of the letter is here:

Consultation on Social Rent Rise

The Government is consulting on three possible rent rises and is leaning towards 5%. Defend Council Housing suggests something like the following comments. The consultation is really aimed at landlords, not tenants, so we should respond as the people most affected by these rises! It will be easier to respond by email to

Consultation page:

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 12 October 2022.

Homes for All Statement: New government housing policies face both ways

23 July 2022

A raft of new government housing policies are facing two different ways: towards greater marketisation, and towards better rights and protections for tenants. There will be some important struggles as to which of these tendencies will win out.

First, the bad news

The proposals in Boris Johnson’s housing speech of 9 June proposals (right to buy for housing association tenants, and conversion of rent to mortgage for those on state benefit) are a cynical reversion to the rhetoric of marketisation.

They offer nothing at all to address the housing needs of the poorest, for whom a right to buy extension would make things much worse.

There are plenty of practical difficulties with the proposals. A government enacted right to buy of private property is legally and practically problematic. The right to buy extension is backed by a promise of Treasury funding, but it would be expensive. There is a promise of 100% like for like replacement, even though there was a pilot for the scheme which showed that only half of the homes were replaced, and the replacements were more expensive and inferior in standard to the ones that were sold. Replacement promises for local government right to buy have always been broken.

Many housing association finance managers might welcome right to buy, as they would lose social rent stock and most likely receive cash in compensation with little effective control over how it is spent. Local authority right to buy (introduced in 1980) began a massive shrinkage of the social housing stock, and this new policy means that the government would consider extending the shrinkage all over again. The government promises a tight restriction on the number of homes to be sold, and a national waiting list to buy, but the option for shrinkage is very much there. 

In the parliamentary debate on social housing (which was also held on 9 June) and in media responses and interviews the Labour party did not oppose the Tories’ proposals in principle, and nor did they mention Johnson. They made some good criticisms of the detail, but there was much that remained unsaid. There was no criticism of the influence of property developers over housing policy, the oversupply of unaffordable housing, the Shelter report ‘Building for our future: A vision for social housing’ which shows that a mass social rent housebuilding programme would pay for itself in benefit savings and savings in the other costs of social exclusion.

There is a tendency to call for more social rent housing, but without the specified numbers and the funding that would define an effective policy (100,000 new council homes a year, and £10 billion a year in grant funding), ‘more social rent housing’ is meaningless. 

The Labour leadership clearly believe that they cannot be seen to oppose any proposals that are packaged as home ownership, and they are reluctant to oppose right to buy in any form. They are not prepared to speak the worth and value of council housing or social rent housing, as an alternative to the present policy of excessive government financial support for ownership. They are ignoring the excellent motion passed at last year’s party conference to support the contents of the 2019 election manifesto on housing, including 100,000 new council homes a year, and abolishing the right to buy.

Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy went further on 2 May when Johnson first broached the new plans for extended right to buy, tweeting ‘Every family deserves the security of owning their own home. This won’t deliver that. Labour will.’

The proposed conversion of rent to mortgage for those on state benefit is restricted to those in work and claiming housing benefits. It is not at all clear how this might work. But it is potentially an even more dangerous policy than the right to buy extension. It is reminiscent of mass privatisations elsewhere in the world, where public sector homes were simply given away to tenants, without proper concern for sustainability. The government is not in a position to do anything rapidly on that scale, but they are carrying out a full-scale review of the mortgage market to find ways to make it easier for younger people to buy. Of course that is fine, if it was to be done without losing the social rent homes, but instead the review seems to be linked to the right to buy extension and the housing benefit to mortgage schemes.

And now, the better news

On 16 June, we had the opposite face of  government policy, with the publication of the white paper on their proposed renters reform bill. This promises the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices, and the extension of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector. This is a major reform project, changing decades of policies by successive governments which have moved away from security of tenure, and have left the private rented sector without any proper regulation. As if that is not enough, there is also a benefit for social rent tenants, again undoing decades  of policy creep: ‘probationary, fixed-term and demoted social tenancies are now set to be abolished on the grounds that there should be parity between sectors’. 

These reforms of the  private rented sector could be partly nullified without rent control. So the case for rent control is being opened up here. The proposed reforms show that protest works, and that the power of property ownership and the agenda of reducing tenants’ rights can all be challenged. These two government policies are in total contradiction with one another. It is possible that the private renters reforms could be stopped by an internal revolt within the Conservative Party. It is worrying that the battle seems to be conducted mostly covertly and within the Conservative Party. By not opposing any policy badged as ownership, however damaging it may be, Labour would put itself on the wrong side of this debate. It may be argued that the housing crisis with its continued rise of private renting (insecure, low quality, and poor value for money) is tending to create an increasingly coherent voting base for the Labour Party. Hence the Tories, who would like to see private rent as the working class tenure of the future for those who cannot afford owner occupation, have strong incentives to carry through some serious, but necessarily limited reforms to the sector.

Tenants, residents and housing campaigners must campaign and struggle for a consistent policy to build (or buy) new environmentally sustainable council housing, to restrict developer influence and restrict excessive market housebuilding, while controlling rents and improving residents’ rights across all tenures. The contradictions of the  new government policies show that such a campaign could win the day.

Here is Lisa Nandy’s tweet:

See Jules Birch, ‘Can the government deliver on fairer rent?’, Inside Housing 17 June:  (behind paywall – but you can copy the article title into a search engine to read it).

Hansard report of the House of Commons debate on 9 June:

The White Paper, ‘a fairer private rented sector’:

Thanks to Paul Burnham, Haringey DCH

Join Homes for All and the housing bloc at the TUC demonstration on 18 June

We want to make sure housing is a headline issue on the TUC’s demonstration on 18 June. The protest “We demand better” is focused on demands around workers wages, rights and benefits. The TUC’s demands are:

  • A real pay rise for every worker – and a real living wage for all
  • Respect and security for all workers – ban zero hours contracts, ban fire and rehire, decent sick pay now
  • End racism at work
  • Tax energy profits to pay our bills
  • Raise universal credit
  • Boost union bargaining rights now

People in private rented accommodation will be especially hard hit by the rising cost of living, but people living in council housing and leaseholders are also finding it difficult to make ends meet. As the government continues to make working class people pay for the economic crisis, we demand housing justice!

We are grateful for the support of UNITE Community, SHAC, Streets Kitchen, National Pensioners Convention, Defend Council Housing, Grenfell Community Campaigners, Campaign Against Empty Homes, Disabled People Against Cuts and others. We look forward to meeting up with everyone in these campaigns to form a housing bloc on the TUC demonstration. We will be helping the Campaign Against Empty Homes to distribute leaflets on the demo too.

Join us at 11am on 18 June at Portland Place to demand

  • Secure & Safe Housing for All
  • Rent & Service Charge Controls
  • Requisition Empty Homes
  • Justice for Grenfell

See TUC Demo details :

Homes for All Summit 2022 Calls for Radical Change in Housing

Over 200 people registered for the summit on 12 March which heard from campaigners for tenants rights in planning, fire safety, fuel poverty and empty homes. Jeremy Corbyn MP closed the summit with a message of thanks for the organisers.

Campaigners pledged to fight for radical change to enable people to get the housing they need and be in control of their housing and local environment, rather than at the mercy of unaccountable landlords and property developers. They plan to meet again on 2nd April to take forward the action points from the workshops.

In the Housing, Poverty and Energy Futures workshop the participants backed refurbishment instead of demolition and called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies with insulation and energy for all.

Action points from the Planning / Development workshop included supporting local campaigns fighting over planning and development and campaigning on community control of planning and inclusive regeneration.

The Empty Homes workshop agreed to support further action on empty homes, including coming together for a strategy meeting. People who would like to take part in empty homes actions are welcome to attend the Campaign Against Empty Homes planning meeting on 2nd April at 12:30pm.

The Grenfell and Fire Safety Action workshop pledged to support the Grenfell impacted community in calling for prosecutions of those responsible for the fire in the building industry and politicians. They agreed to continue with solidarity action with residents in unsafe buildings, including support for further action by cladding campaigners and Action for Fire Safety Justice around the Building Safety Bill currently going through parliament.

Campaigners in the Council Housing, Housing Associations, supply, rents and service charges workshop thought that it was important to “continue working together to build a programme which has specific demands, create a peoples inquiry into housing, a future event on fighting back and clarify what we want to do using a trade union type strategy.”

The summit recording has been edited into 4 shorts and these videos can be downloaded here:
📢Opening Plenary with: Kevin Courtney;
Bell Ribeiro-Addy; Emma Dent Coad; Ben Clay; Jennifer Shango
📢Lunch sessions:Jon Richards, Head of Unison local govt, Recorded message from  Ken Loach, Film maker + 2 short films by Melissa Herman and Bunny Schendler made with young people and parents from campaigning groups in Westminster. And finally Dr D’Adda an activist from Barcelona
📢Workshop Report backs
📢Closing Plenary with:
Kwajo Tweneboa; John McDonnell; Nikki Saunders; Gyekye Tanoh; Joe Delaney; Sian Berry; Jeremy Corbyn

The speeches from the plenaries can also be viewed on Facebook here:

Homes for All National Summit, Saturday 12 march 2022

Updated timetable below

Join our online conference to plan campaigns in 2022 for genuinely affordable, secure and safe housing.

Saturday, 12 March, 2022, 11:00 – 15:00


But if we work together we can fight this.

The removal of support measures for those impacted by the pandemic, the spike in living costs, including food and fuel, along with the threat of rent and service charge hikes, all mean the housing crisis is continuing to damage health, livelihoods, families and communities.

The aim of the summit is to build strong networked national housing campaigns for the coming year by bringing together local groups, Trade Unionists, MPs and supporters from around the UK to share information and create coordinated solidarities and strategies.

Workshop-based to generate ideas for how we can come together to fight for the secure, genuinely affordable and council homes that people need.

Speakers include

Jeremy Corbyn MP

John McDonnell MP

Kevin Courtney National Education Union

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Matt Wrack Fire Brigades Union

Kwajo Tweneboa Tenant Activist

Sian Berry AM GLA

and tenant and resident campaigners from across the country…

REGISTER and find out more:

Contact Details:



London – Events: November and December 2021

Please see details of forthcoming events in London below – if you are able to attend please take along your banner & join us on the day.

March to Southwark Council’s Assembly
Wednesday 24 November 2021

Assemble: 6pm at Vauban Carpark, Alscot Road, Opposite Spa Gardens SE1 3GG (Bus 1 and 78)
March to Tooley Street for a rally outside Council Assembly: 6:30pm @160 Tooley Street, SE1 2QH

UK Housing Awards protest on 25th November organised by SHAC:

National Pensioners Convention protest over increased Winter Deaths due to Home Fuel price rises. Friday 26th November at 12 noon:

Join us as we share the campaigning tactics that forced Bellway to pay full remediation costs for our blocks. Hear from six Fire Safety Justice campaigners and join us in an open discussion as we reflect on successes and challenges in 2021 and decide together, where do we go from here?

Grenfell United – Silent March on 14th December, Assemble 6pm Kensington Town Hall. More details to follow.

Reports, Photo’s & Streams from Saturday’s Campaign Against Empty Homes

Southend: A Great day action on empty homes in Southend National day of action by Action on Empty Homes & Homes for all .The Southend action organised By Essex Unite Community Branch .Attended by Essex Unite community, Acorn renters Union,Harlow And District trade Union Council. Basildon & Thurock Trades Union Council ,Southend Trades Union Council. CWU Rep. Southend Labour Party Members. 100s Signed petition to Southend Esasr/West MPs to End Homelessness & Build Council Homes.

Islington: On Saturday, six Islington Councillors, together with Islington residents and activists from Islington Homes for All, Islington Housing Action, Action on Empty Homes and Street Storage (for homeless people) gathered outside the 28 empty ex-warders’ flats belonging to the Ministry of Justice behind Pentonville Prison, left empty for years.  They were protesting against the continued refusal by the Ministry of Justice to honour the agreement made in 2019 with Islington Council for the flats to be leased to house homeless and overcrowded families in a borough with over 14,000 households on the housing waiting list.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Housing emphasised the borough’s urgent need for these family-sized flats in the context of the present government clear disregard for people’s welfare in its pursuit to make money.

South London: Southwark, Aylesbury Estate. Up to 30 people protested at the Aylesbury Estate where the regeneration means the demolition of over 2,000 council homes. Over 600 council homes stand empty, waiting to be demolished. Southwark Council has been putting temporary tenants in these empty homes, and is subsidising developer Notting Hill Genesis to provide council homes in replacement of those that are demolished. We demand that NHG is removed and the estate is refurbished.

Westminster – Waiting for Report

E17 Against Evictions (Walthamstow) – Waiting for Report

Fire Safety Crisis – National Day of Action

View image on Twitter

Go to fb link


Event by Action for Fire Safety Justice A sales office or city hall near you!

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

Join us for our next national day of local protests, to demand that the Government make Developers pay to fix the Fire Safety Crisis!Leaseholders and tenants are trapped in unsafe homes, facing bankruptcy and eviction because our homes weren’t built to be safe.

Meanwhile, developers get off scot free and continue to make huge profits.Join us as we fight for our rights and demand change. Bring your friends, family and neighbours and let’s make a noise!

Saturday 30 October 2021, 11:30am – 12:30pm Building Safety Crisis Day of Action
Online Rally   We demand that the Government makes Developers pay! The costs to fix fire safety issues should not fall on tenants or leaseholders. Join Action for Fire Safety Justice and supporters for a rally featuring outside broadcasts from protests as part of the national day of action.

Speakers include:

  • Chloe Waite, Action for Fire Safety Justice
  • Tanya Murat, Homes For All
  • Karim Mussilhy, Grenfell United
  • Wilf Sullivan, TUC
  • Jenni Garratt, End Our Cladding Scandal
  • Chair, Moyra Samuels, Grenfell Campaigner

Protests to be featured at the online rally include:

⁕ London City Hall
⁕ Abbey Quays Barking
⁕ Upton Park
⁕ Ipswich Waterfront
⁕ Milton Keynes
⁕ Bristol City Hall
⁕ Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights  

Details of all the above in-person protests:

Action for Fire Safety Justice:  

This rally will be live on Facebook and YouTube