IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE HOUSING BILL> PLEASE ATTEND THIS IMPORTANT LOBBY MEETING
Mp’s will be debating the Housing and Planning bill on 3rd May in the House of Commons. This is a crucial debate that could see the Bill voted on this day.
Kill the Housing Bill camapigners will be meeting outside Parliament at 12pm to 2pm to demonstrate their opposition to the Bill. Then at 3pm we will be attending a meeting in the committee room in Parliament to lobby MP’s to vote against the bill.
Below is a template email and letter you can send to your MP and with links attached to find their contact details.
Dear __________ MP
As one of your constituents I am writing to ask you to oppose the Housing and Planning Bill.
This Bill, if passed, will undoubtedly make the national housing crisis worse.
At a time of acute shortages of truly affordable housing this Bill will lead to the loss of more social housing through the extension of right-to-buy to housing association tenants and the compulsory sale of ‘high-value’ council housing. It will replace affordable rented homes in new developments with starter homes that will be unaffordable (up to £450,000 in London).
This Bill will do nothing to help tenants struggling in expensive, insecure, unregulated private rental properties – but instead will force these conditions onto social tenants who will see their secure tenancies abolished and their rents raised through pay-to-stay.
The planning elements of the Bill will also enable more widespread demolitions of affordable social housing estates and reduce democratic local control of planning decisions.
Despite the numerous amendments that have been tabled to this Bill in the Lords, I am still extremely worried about the overall impact of this Bill and cannot see any positive reason to support even an amended version.
There is a full briefing on the Bill available on killthehousingbill.wordpress.com
I hope that you will speak out and vote against this Bill. I am coming to the national lobby of parliament organised by the Kill the Housing Bill Campaign on Tuesday 3rd of May and I would appreciate the opportunity to meet you in person to discuss my concerns and find out what you can do to address them.
There is a protest against the Bill outside parliament from 12pm to 2pm and a meeting inside from 3pm to 7pm. Please contact me by reply email or by phone on ********* to confirm when you will be available to meet on that day.
I look forward to hearing from you,
(Name, and give full address to confirm you are a constituent)
You can find your local MP email address on this link:
You can search for Lords to contact using this link:
Even MPs who oppose this Bill will be able to use letters from constituents as proof of widespread opposition, and you can add personal information about how the Bill will affect you that MPs can use when speaking on the Bill, so it is still well worth writing to them.
Wednesday 13 April – immediate release
Thousands to March With the Homeless and Sleep Out to highlight soaring homelessness and offer ‘solidarity not charity’
On Friday 15 April UK at 6pm, thousands will assemble at Downing Street to join aMarch With the Homeless, with the march culminating in a mass ‘sleep out’ at Southwark Council Offices from 9pm. The demonstration is being organised byStreets Kitchen, a homelessness justice organisation, and the Kill the Housing Billcampaign coalition, whose housing bill demo was attended by 10,000 people last month.
This Friday’s protest aims to highlight rising homelessness as well as provide practical support to those sleeping rough, in an offer of solidarity not charity. Campaigners say the Housing Bill will make many more people homeless. Protesters have been asked to bring tents, sleeping bags, food, clothes and shopping trolleys in preparation to March with the Homeless and offer #SolidarityNotCharity. Campaigners planning the ‘sleep out’ said that there would be music, free food, warmth and community.
As well as the central London protests, activities are planned across the capital and across the UK. On 15 April, there are March with the Homelessdemonstrations planned in ten UK towns and cities and Kill the Bill campaignersare gathering outside town halls and housing offices for sleep outs in Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Harlow and Leeds. Faith leaders, homeless people’s organisations, community groups and local councillors will be attending the sleep outs.
The protest comes as two major elements of the Housing and Planning Bill were defeated in the House of Lords. The Government could be forced to make concessions following these embarrassing defeats, with opposition to the Bill outside of Parliament growing every day. Campaigners vowed to continue to fight every element of the Bill, as it threatens to force more people into insecurity and homelessness.
According to a broad definition of homelessness which includes people living in emergency or temporary accommodation, nearly a million men, women and children are set to become homeless by 2020 unless the Government takes action to address a crisis. Street homelessness has doubled in the last five years – with over 7,500 sleeping rough in London in the last year.
A spokesperson for Streets Kitchen said: “Streets Kitchen works tirelessly to provide essential services for the homeless community. We have seen levels of homelessness double since 2010, and we are calling this demonstration to demand an end to this crisis. There is no reason in this society for people not to be able to access adequate housing other than lack of political will. People on the streets are being killed by political indifference, and it is time for everyone to come together and shout ‘enough is enough’.”
A spokesperson for the Kill the Housing Bill campaign said: “As many people are beginning to recognise, the Tories’ Housing and Planning Bill will worsen the housing crisis and escalate homelessness. It aims to destroy council housing, condemning millions to a lifetime of insecure, expensive private renting, and does nothing for the rising number of people who have no secure place to call home. The Housing Bill is down and now is the time to kick it – we will continue the fight against every element of the Bill, both inside and outside Parliament. Everyone deserves a decent home, but landlords, developers and the rich are the only ones to benefit from this Bill.”
53 year old teaching assistant Janice Sweeney has never been politically active before but now spends much of her free time lobbying against the Housing Bill. She has raised considerable support from members of the House of Lords and will be at the West London Sleep Out at Hammersmith Town Hall. Jan explains: “I’m going out there to prevent my grandkids being homeless in the future. Whole working class communities are being broken apart.”
Protests are set to continue throughout this weekend and on Saturday 16 April, Kill the Bill campaigners will join a ‘Housing Bloc’ as part of the People’s Assembly demonstration for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education.
The Kill the Housing Bill campaign is supported is supported by Radical Housing Network, Defend Council Housing, People’s Assembly, GMB Union, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Bakers Union, Unite Housing Workers, London Gypsy Traveller Unit, Focus E15 Campaign, Generation Rent, National Bargee Travellers Association, UCL Rent Strike Campaign, Goldsmiths Rent Strike Campaign, Leeds Hands Off Our Homes, The Green Party, Momentum, John McDonnell MP and Ken Loach, director of homelessness film Cathy Come Home, and many more.
Notes to Editors
1. According to homelessness charities and government’s own figures, seeIndependent.
2. See Guardian.
For further information and interviews please contact:
Facebook Event: March with the Homeless
Facebook Page: Kill the Housing Bill
Twitter: @KillHousingBill @StreetsKitchen #KilltheHousingBill #MarchWithTheHomeless #SolidarityNotCharity
Housing Bill: Government Suffers Major Defeats in Lords, as Kill the Housing Bill campaign grows
Two major elements of the Housing and Planning Bill have been defeated in the House of Lords last night. The Government could be forced to make major concessions following these embarrassing defeats, with opposition to the Bill outside of Parliament growing every day
The Lords supported two amendments to the Bill:
The first extends the Starter Home discount to twenty years, not five as the Bill stated.
The second allows councils to choose how many starter homes are built in their area in a bid to make sure affordable housing for those on low incomes remains a priority
A spokesperson for the Kill the Housing Bill campaign coalition, whose housing bill demo was attended by 10,000 people last month, said: “These defeats show just how unpopular the Tories’ bill is becoming. It’s clear that it will worsen the housing crisis, and force more people into homelessness. It aims to destroy council housing, condemning millions to a lifetime of insecure, expensive private renting.
Starter Homes – the bill’s flagship policy – are no solution to the crisis. They will help only the wealthy, and do nothing for the millions of people struggling with housing across the country. We will continue this fight against the bill, inside and outside Parliament. Everyone deserves a decent home, but landlords, developers and the rich will be the only ones to benefit from this Bill.”
On Friday 15 April UK at 6pm, thousands will assemble at Downing Street to join aMarch With the Homeless, with the march culminating in a mass sleep out at Southwark Council Offices from 9pm. The demonstration is being organised by the Kill the Housing Bill campaign and Streets Kitchen, a homelessness justice organisation.
Notes to Editors
For further information and interviews please contact:
Facebook Event: March with the Homeless
Facebook Page: Kill the Housing Bill
The Housing Bill won’t solve the housing crisis – instead, under the provisons of the Bill, homelessness can only increase.
Kill the Housing Bill is supporting the March with the Homeless next Friday 15th April, Downing Street, 6pm. The march will join the Sleep Out at Southwark Town Hall from 9pm (see event below for details). Come prepared to camp: Bring tents, sleeping bags, food, donations, shopping trolleys.
The Kill the Housing Bill campaign has called a Sleep Out to highlight rising homelessness.
Local housing groups are planning sleep-outs at local town halls to raise the issue of local homelessness. Groups are planning to provide food and blankets, donations will be welcomed and distributed locally.
Sleep outs are planned in: Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Harlow, Leeds.
National sleep out events:
NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2016
March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education | End Austerity Now | Cameron Must GO!
Saturday 16 April 2016
Assemble: 1pm, Gower Street / Euston Road, London NW1
March to Trafalgar Square
Available to view and download here:
On Sunday 13 March 2016, thousands of people from across the country will march on Parliament to oppose the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill and demand: secure homes for all, rent controls, and homes for people not for profit.
Campaigners say the Bill, which is currently in the House of Lords, threatens to make the UK’s housing crisis much worse, send rent and house prices soaring and spells the end of council and social housing.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The march will assemble at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at midday Sunday 13 March 2016. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and celebrities plan to address the crowds in Parliament Square.
The national demonstration is organised by the Kill the Housing Bill campaign and will be attended by council tenants, home owners, private renters, architects, students, migrants groups, women’s campaigns, trade unionists and many more. It is supported by a wide range of MPs, Lords and celebrities.
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:
“People are desperate for a stable and decent home they can actually afford to live in but the Tories Housing Bill will make the housing crisis drastically worse. Labour is opposing it in Parliament but I’m also opposing it outside Parliament by supporting the Kill the Housing Bill demonstration on the 13th March. Millions of people across the country are struggling to afford to rent or buy a home but the Government is callous in its disregard for people’s right to secure themselves the right to a decent home. This bill demonstrates the worst attack on social housing provision seen in decades. It will result in more genuinely affordable social housing units being sold off which is scandalous when we have such a severe housing crisis on our hands. Under this Tory Government homelessness is already sharply on the rise and thousands are being socially cleansed from our cities”.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP said:
“I am proud to support the Kill the Housing Bill campaign in their fight to stand up and defend the right to a secure and truly affordable home for everyone. The Government had an opportunity to utterly rethink the housing model but instead they have put another nail in the coffin for social housing. This Bill is being used to pull the rug from underneath those who rely on our already limited stock of social housing, destroying the very bricks and mortar of the welfare state. It is also a sure fire way to extend – not end – the housing crisis”
A spokesperson for the Kill the Housing Bill campaign said:
“The Tories’ Housing Bill aims to destroy council housing, and will hit everyone on low or middle incomes trying to rent or buy. It condemns millions to a lifetime of insecure, expensive private renting. Everyone deserves a decent home, but landlords, developers and the rich will be the only ones to benefit from this Bill.”
The proposed legislation:
● Forces local authorities to sell ‘high value’ properties on the private market when they become empty – the biggest council housing sell-off in generations.
● Abolishes new secure lifetime tenancies in council housing, replacing them with 2 – 5 year tenancies.
● Hits social tenants with a combined income of £30,000 (£40,000 in London) or more with a ‘pay to stay’ tax, to bring their rent up to market levels – an up to 400% increase.
● Does nothing to address the housing crisis, and instead replaces obligations to build social housing with Cameron’s unaffordable ‘starter homes’ – requiring an annual income of £70,000 in London.
Sarah Quigley, a council tenant from North London on the effect the bill have on her family:
“I live in Camden in a one bedroom council flat with my partner and two young daughters, and I am a carer for my disabled mother, who lives nearby. If the Housing Bill is passed there is no way we will be able to get the two-bed council flat that we need, and it will mean that I can no longer afford to live in Camden, or even London, where I have lived all my life.”
Notes to editors:
● The march will assemble at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3TL at 12 noon on Sunday 13 March. The route of the demo is via Aldwych, the Strand, crossing over the river to the South bank, and returning over Westminster Bridge to Parliament. The march will end with a rally in Parliament Square at 2pm.
● The march will be joined by a number of politicians and celebrities. Speakers who plan to attend (although tbc) include Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas, Natalie Bennett and celebrities.
● The Kill the Housing Bill campaign is supported by Defend Council Housing, Radical Housing Network, Focus E15 campaign, Momentum, People’s Assembly, GMB Union, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Bakers Union, Unite Housing Workers, London Gypsy Traveller Unit, National Bargee Travellers Association, Leeds Hands Off Our Homes, The Green Party, John McDonnell MP and many more.
● Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/973999866019425/
● For more information see: killthehousingbill.wordpress.com
● For Shelter’s assessment of the Housing Bill see: this Shelter report
● For a brief overview of the Housing Bill see: this report
● Spokespeople from the campaign and people in housing crisis or who will be directly affected by the Bill are available to interview.
Joe Beswick 07873 557040
Katya Nasim 07791 018631