|Dear Members/SupportersPlease see attached Evictions letter that Homes for All discussed at the last H4A meeting. We would very much like your support to demand an extended ban on evictions and to write off arrears accrued due to Covid-19 pandemic until the end of March 2022 and for Central government to develop an emergency financial package for tenants and landlords to stop evictions.
If you support these demands please can you sign the letter here with your name, title and organisation:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t7g_lIvB9cFZfV8fiUKezmFQxma85siNmZXynECSoSU/edit
Or reply to this email with your name, title and organisation and we will add it to the letter.
Thanking you and solidarity,
Homes for All.
H4A zoom meeting Saturday 27th March at 11am
Topic: Homes 4 All General Meeting – followed by Filling Empty Homes
Time: Mar 27, 2021 11:00 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 821 4750 6061
The recent H4A summit debated inequalities in housing, health & wealth
and a government that has failed to offer any long-term solutions during
and beyond the Covid crisis. The Mayoral and local elections are looming
and we have an opportunity to make housing a key issue. We will be
Update from workshops & proposed activities over coming weeks
Action around Mayoral/local elections
Steering Group – need more volunteers
Empty Homes Day of Action 17th April – stay on zoom to join meeting
We are joining with Action on Empty Homes for an ‘Empty Homes Day of Action’ on Saturday April 17th 2021 Join us!
Rally 11am to 12pm, Saturday 17th April
Online rally with national speakers 11am – 12noon
John Bird Founder Big Issue, Steve Turner Assistant General Secretary Unite Will McMahon, Action on Empty Homes, Tanya Murat, Homes For All, Jon Glackin, Streets Kitchen, Ellen Clifford Author, Disabled People Against Cuts, Moyra Samuels Grenfell Campaigner, Tyrone Scott Shelter, Hannah Berry Greater Manchester Housing Action
Local Photoshoots and events on Saturday 17th April – ALL WELCOME!
2. Islington Homes for All Photoshoot at Breakout Café then Roman Way 10:45am
3. East London People Before Profit Facebook Event here EVERYONE WELCOME: please join the protest/photoshoot on Saturday 17th April 11am-12 Meet Morrison’s car park, Silvertown Way, Canning Town, E16 1ED. #thewronghousing
Other events taking place include Harlow, Rochdale, Milton Keynes.
The Day of Action on 17th April aims to raise public awareness of the rising number of long-term empty homes and homes without a permanent resident in England.
Government and market data show there are around:
- 270,000 long-term empty homes
- 260,000 second-homes without no permanent resident
- 120,000 Airbnb type short-lets (London Councils estimate there are 80,000 short-lets in London alone)
We are calling this Day of Action for three reasons:
- The pandemic has highlighted the health impacts of Temporary Accommodation and overcrowding – it has created a health emergency.
- The wrong kind of housing is being built in metropolitan areas.
- Building the wrong kind of housing has created a crisis of affordability.
What will happen on the Day of Action?
- Campaigners will be staging photoshoots using campaign banners and placards outside new developments that do not contain any social housing, decanted council homes, housing association empty homes and older large residential properties that are long term empty.
- We will be live streaming a rally at 11am to 12pm, Saturday 17th April on multiple platforms including https://www.facebook.com/emptyhomes/ YouTube Action on Empty Homes YouTube Homes4ALLUK https://www.facebook.com/Homes4AllUK The online ‘rally’ will feature live streams from the local photoshoots as well as local and national speakers in the ‘studio’
- We will gather all the photoshoots and put them on our national websites and issue both local and national press releases for publicity purposes and demonstrate the breadth of support for the Day of Action. We aim to build a national picture of the problem.
How you can get involved
1. Organise your own local photoshoot or selfie for the Day of Action. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org See below a step by step guide to organising your local event.
2. Order some of Day of Action posters for your photoshoot from Will at Action on Empty Homes – make a £10 donation to Action on Empty Homes to help us cover our costs – they will be available on Monday 22 March.
To order posters: E-mail email@example.com
The posters will carry the following messages and hashtags:
‘We are in a housing & health emergency!’ ‘Take Action on Empty Homes’ ‘Why is this home empty?’
#PrettyVacant #EmptyHomes #Fillemup #HomesNeedResidents #TheWrongHousing
Homes 4 All will also be using the hashtags
3. Put out a local press release – there will be a template on the AEH website for you to use if you want to.
4. To find how many empty homes there are in your council area click here. This tells you a lot about empty homes in your area. E.g. one in 9 homes in Kensington and Chelsea are “out of use”.
4. To find out about whole house Airbnbs in your council area visit here: https://www.airdna.co/
5. Use your social media to advertise the Day of Action.
We will post resources on our webpages to help you make the best impact on the day.
For more information call
Will at Action on Empty Homes on 07968 950223
Tanya at Homes 4 All on: 07792 786192
Background and resources
Southwark Defend Council Housing has been leading the campaign to #RequisitionEmptyHomes #FillEmptyCouncilHomes since Spring 2020 when it became obvious that the Coronavirus pandemic was killing people in overcrowded housing and homeless people at a much greater rate than the general population. Now, following the successful Homes 4 All Summit in February, Homes 4 All have agreed to take this campaign forward in collaboration with Action on Empty Homes.
To see the Southwark DCH petition and open letter to Southwark Council click here
To see the Southwark DCH arguments for councils to requisition empty homes click here
For more exciting facts about the successful post war peoples’ movement to requisition empty homes by Sam Burgum click here
Interested in organising an empty homes photoshoot your area? Below are all the resources you will need.
You can also order hard copy posters for your selfie or event and we can supply posters at A1, A2, A3 and A4 size
Letter inviting groups and organisations to support the day of action
Letter to candidates in local elections on May 6th CLICK HERE FOR LETTER – if an election is taking place in your area, the letter invites candidates to support the campaign
If you are unsure whether there are local elections in your area you can check by clicking here
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.
Join the meeting, comment and ask questions through our Facebook page:
Or our YouTube channel: Homes 4 All UK
A Minister’s letter to ‘all’ council and housing association tenants,
sets out what should be happening on repairs, maintenance, gas safety
and moves. As most tenants have not received it, see it here:
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.
Model letter with address/email is here:
This letter from a Minister dated 18 May 2020, says ‘landlords should be able to carry out routine as well as essential repairs’, making prior arrangements with any households isolating or shielding sick and vulnerable people. It includes guidelines for how work should be done and tenants protected: see links in the document including Coronavirus (Covid19) Guidance for Landlords and Tenants.
We can’t leave our safety to chance – so demand your landlord agrees in advance to stick to the guidelines, and agree a procedure if these are broken. All workers in our blocks and homes need to work safely or not at all.
Work on high rise blocks with unsafe cladding or insufficient fire safety, ‘remains a top priority for the Government’, it claims. (So why are there still at least 357 blocks still with Grenfell-style cladding, and 11,000 blocks with risky cladding, two years on from the Grenfell fire?)
This letter, with important information, has not been sent to any of the 4 million+ tenants so far – so we are publishing it to ensure we can prepare and protect ourselves.
A Homes for All survey is gauging how Coronavirus is affecting its supporters, families and communities. Initial results, from 101 respondents , confirm that Covid-19 is deepening a housing crisis that’s been growing for years.
The survey results show:
25% have lost all or some of their income.
9% have had to claim Universal Credit.
15% are struggling to pay rent/mortgage.
10% have fallen into arrears.
17% are worried about falling into arrears.
Private renters are most, and disproportionately affected by the crisis:
39% have lost all or some of their income.
70% are struggling to pay the rent.
50% have fallen into arrears.
73% are worried about falling into arrears.
By comparison, although 28% of those who’ve lost all or some of their income are council tenants, their secure tenancies appear to reduce anxiety at falling into arrears.
Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing (part of the Homes for All alliance) says:
“These results are very worrying. They tally with other research showing we’re heading for an explosion of evictions and homelessness unless government takes urgent action to protect tenants who can’t pay the rent due to the Covid crisis. The results also show council housing is the only truly secure affordable rented housing, especially in a crisis. That’s why we’re demanding action to ensure 100,000 new and reclaimed council homes a year as part of the recovery plan.”
As London Renters Union’s Amina Gichinga says:
“After lockdown ends, it could go two ways. Renters could face the chaos of rent debt and evictions. Or they could be safe from eviction and able to afford necessities like food and rent.
“That’s not much to ask – but for it to happen, the government needs to suspend rent payments, cancel rent debt and make the evictions ban permanent. Ultimately we need rent controls and more council housing.”
Behind the statistics are people’s lives. Among some of the responses to the Homes for All survey:
“It is hard not having any face to face contact with family/friends, as I live on my own in a flat. Also, I do not have a garden or balcony, which increases the time I have to stay inside.”
(15% of responders reported lack of access to open space.)
“I have constant anxiety and fear about money and housing security.”
“I am classed as vulnerable. I’m over 65 and Diabetic. I live in an overcrowded house with one son sleeping on the settee and working making cardboard boxes for lamp shades and another son, a bus driver whose been furloughed.”
“On 27 March, Haringey Council’s management company closed the concierge service and reduced the cleaning service in blocks (no more weekly cleaning of stairways landings and corridors). The risk of infection is obvious.”
Join our online Public meeting on Saturday 9th May 2020 at 7pm with UK, USA tenants and Barcelona Tenants Union, and John McDonnell MP on:
Our Facebook page: Facebook: Axe the Housing Act – Secure homes for all
OR our YouTube Channel: YouTube Homes 4 All UK
Please share and invite people via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/188041545527763/
WATCH THE CONVERSATION:
Thank you to all who took part in the meeting. It has had thousands of views and you can still see it on Facebook::
Or on our YouTube Channel.
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
We stand united – we won’t blame each other, we need action by
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.
Homes for All links tenants and housing campaigners, trade unions and others to defend the homes and rights we have, and win the homes we all need. Attend our next meeting in London and discuss how we can help win the fight for housing justice in 2020.
There are new MPs who say they represent us – can you help put pressure on your MP to support action on local and national housing problems?
The roll-out of Universal Credit means more people in rent arrears and more evictions. Are you able to help build the ‘UC – no evictions’ campaign? Can we push for action locally, in the coming council elections?
Tenants have won the right to a vote before demolition of their estates, in some areas. But temporary tenants are being bullied and manipulated in this process. What is the key to stopping unwanted estate demolition, and winning these ballots?
Grenfell and fire safety – how do we get action to stop more devastating fires, and ensure justice for Grenfell survivors?
Next General Meeting Details:
18th January 11am – 1pm at:
Unite offices, 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB
Send your comments and ideas in advance if you can’t attend in person.
Join the rally 12 noon 3 Nov at City Hall London SE1 2AA, to demand a ballot for all estates facing demolition (at least 82 in London). Help get the word out – for leaflets call 020 7622 7201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org