Sign our Open Letter to the Mayor of London

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To Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Act to control rents and secure homes for all 

 

We welcome your promise to fix the housing crisis. London and the UK are increasingly unequal and divided. Housing pressures in London are pushing up costs throughout the south. Most people are paying more for less security, worse conditions and fewer rights, with a rising proportion of income going on rent, alongside growing overcrowding and homelessness.

Recent policies have made the situation worse; the latest example is the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

If implemented, the Act will push up rents,reduce security of tenure, lead to market sell-off of thousands of social rented homes, increase displacement and the break-up of communities while doing little to improve the situation for those condemned to exploitative private renting and homelessness.

This is already driving ordinary people out of communities, hitting women and ethnic minorities hardest. A broad alliance, including tenants of all tenures, trade unions,housing professionals, academics, faith leaders, councillors, MPs and Lords, are calling on the government to think again. We want you to add your voice to this opposition. The pressure has already compelled ministers to abandon the ‘Pay to Stay’ tenant tax, and pause the extension of Right to Buy and the market sale of council homes to pay for it. Some government funding has been restored for rented housing, and letting fees are to be scrapped.

The secondary legislation needed to implement the rest of the Act has not yet been introduced. But the Housing minister wants to persist in plans to end secure tenancies. We call on you to reject Government moves towards time-limited and means tested housing stratified by income.

‘Affordable’ rent up to 80% market rates, Starter Homes and scrapping of lifetime secure tenancies are disastrous for our communities. Less security of tenure results in more social cleansing, with entire neighbourhoods stripped of vital social networks and character as people on average and low incomes are priced out.

 

  • A decent, secure, affordable home should be a right, not a short-term privilege. We need to protect permanent tenancies for council and housing association tenants and extend security further: scrap six-month Assured Short hold Tenancies in the private rented sector.
  • So called ‘regeneration’ schemes that threaten 80-plus estates in London must be suspended, with a residents’ right to vote on proposals and an option of no strings attached investment in new and existing council housing at social rents with secure tenancies.
  • Private property developers should be prevented from using secret ‘viability  assessments’ to get planning permission so they can build homes few can afford,  many of which stand empty. We call for full publication of viability  assessments on all developments.
  • Public land must be used to launch a programme of  new council house building. At the now-unused Holloway Prison site at least 400 genuinely affordable homes could be built.

 

We call on the Mayor of London and all our elected representatives including other city mayors, councillors and MPs to publicly oppose the Housing and Planning Act and support the campaign to replace it with action for controlled rents and secure homes for all.

 

To sign this letter, please fill out the short form below:

Axe The Housing Act – Screening of ‘I, Daniel Blake’ with Ken Loach

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” The government is now consciously using hunger as a weapon. Because if you’re hungry you can’t fight back; you can’t do anything – you’re just desperate… “

Ken Loach in conversation at Axe The Housing Act’s special screening of ‘I. Daniel Blake’ February 2017

 

Thank you to everyone who attended, helped organise and donated generously to the Axe The Housing Act campaign’s special screening of ‘I,Daniel Blake’ at London’s Genesis Cinema with a Q&A with the film’s director Ken Loach. Many left the screening feeling passionate and angry about the current socio-political climate and are ready to fight back.

 

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Next Organising Meetings

Our next organising meetings are on:

Tuesday 31st January 2017, 6.30 PM at:

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

AND:

Saturday 18th February 2017, 11 AM at:

Unite Offices, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN

 

All welcome.

 

Housing Association Tenants and Workers Meeting, London – January 30th 2017

Axe The Housing Act and Unite Housing Workers Branch have organised a meeting open to all housing association residents and workers to develop a network for greater campaigning strength.

 

As with public services, to defeat the Housing and Planning Act and the austerity agenda, workers and service users must come together united in a common cause.

The meeting will discuss how to:

  • Defeat the remaining parts of the Act
  • End ‘social cleansing’
  • End the cuts to repairs and maintenance services
  • Demand decent pay, conditions and training for housing workers

 

Meeting to be held on Monday January 30th, 6.30pm at:

Diskus Centre, Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN

 

Workers, residents and service users from across a range of housing associations will meet together and plan to fight together for better pay, terms and conditions, and services in social housing. Open to all who work for a housing association, their residents and service users.

 

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www.housingworkers.org.uk

 

First General Meeting of 2017

Welcome to a busy new year already in the campaign for homes.



The Housing Act is still stalled, with no move yet to pass the necessary regulations needed.  Government have dropped the threatened Pay to Stay tenant tax, and postponed further Right to buy and sell off of council homes for at least a year.

But the Act remains a threat, until we get it all scrapped.

Ministers still want to end secure tenancies, and replace homes for rent with un-affordable mortgages.   A new Housing white paper is on the way, so now is the time to demand policies to control rents and secure homes for all.



Come to our open organising meeting this Saturday 14 Jan 11.am at:

Unite Offices, 128 Theobalds Rd London WC1X 8TN.

We’ll catch up with plans, and welcome new ideas.  All invited – email any reports or suggestions if you can’t make it.

 

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ATHA Fundraiser: Special Screening of ‘I, Daniel Blake’ by Ken Loach – February 2nd 2017, London

 

Join us at a very special screening hosted by Axe The Housing Act and others of  Ken Loachs’ Palme d’Or winning film ‘I, Daniel Blake’
With a Q&A and discussion with the film makers and activists.

 

THURSDAY 02 FEBRUARY 6.30pm at
Genesis Cinema 93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ.

 

Tickets £4.50 book at box office 020 7780 2000 OR here online:

https://genesiscinema.co.uk/GenesisCinema.dll/WhatsOn?Film=5248572

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Lobby of Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister

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Thanks for a great local response to our stall in Croydon last weekend – Axe The Housing Act will continue to build pressure on Housing Minister Gavin Barwell to axe this act once and for all.

 

Happy Birthday Axe The Housing Act

One year ago, Axe the Housing Act (formally Kill The Housing Bill) was started by campaigners galvanised to stop the Conservative Governments Housing and Planning Act – and today we are in a confident mood. At a lively organising meeting this week we cheered the government backing off key parts of the Housing & Planning Act, and are now more determined than ever to campaign to scrap the whole Act.

The Act is still stalled.  None of the secondary regulations or commencement proceedings have started.  The compulsory Pay to Stay tenant tax is scrapped, extending Right to Buy to housing associations, and the levy of funds to pay for it by market sale of council homes, are delayed for at least a year.

Other parts of the Act are also in doubt.  But Housing minister Gavin Barwell still wants to scrap lifetime secure tenancies for council and housing association tenancies.

We are fighting to beat the whole of the Act,  win rent controls and more security for private renters alongside other tenants.  We want secure homes for all by building a new generation of council and other homes for rent – See our Autumn Statement for Homes

Plans include contacting all councils and housing associations to push for wider action, organise events in Kent, South Yorkshire and Liverpool/Manchester, take the fight to the housing minister with a street stall in Croydon next Saturday 7th , and other action.

Get in touch to join in!

Next organising meeting 14 January 11am at Unite  office, 128 Theobalds Rd Holborn WC1X 8TN

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#homes4autumn
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Next Strategy Meeting – London, 5th December 2016

 

The Housing and Planning Act grows weaker and weaker but still we must fight to axe it once and for all.

Our next strategy and organising meeting will be held at 7pm, Monday December 5th 2016 at:

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

 

All welcome.

#homes4autumn