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:https://we.tl/t-8nYWH6aegH:
📢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: https://fb.watch/bIpwd1JZ6K/

General Meeting – Saturday 12th February 2022, 11am

Details for this Saturday’s Meeting are below – CAEH is scheduled first and HFA will follow.

Information & links are also below for the Homes for All Summit, Homes for Lambeth and Action on Empty Homes.

Meetings: Campaign Against Empty Homes (10am) followed by Homes for All (11am)  
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83272392880

Meeting ID: 832 7239 2880

Agenda for CAEH
Notes of the Steering Group meeting
Manifesto – design and use
Airbnb meeting
Meeting focused on the history of squatting and policies etc.
Date of next HfA meeting
AOB 

Agenda for HfA 
Update on Summit 22
Report from DCH/Parliamentary Group
What’s happening Locally – updates
AOB

1. Register for your tickets for Homes for All Summit 22 https://bit.ly/3Gt2dxb

2. Save Central Hill Estate et al/Lambeth. Action, 2pm – 4pm on Saturday 12th February: http://bitly.ws/oqta

3. Link for  Action on Empty Homes Event Regulating Airbnb: Approaches from Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam   https://rb.gy/sarb6x

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

Register:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/homes-for-all-national-summit-2022-tickets-240834712107

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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/homes-for-all-national-summit-2022-tickets-240834712107

Contact Details:

Email: info@axethehousingact.org.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Homes4AllUK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/homes4alluk

Press Release: Fire Safety Justice in support of Justice for Grenfell Community

Grenfell Community Campaigners protest outside Celotex Factory in Hadleigh, Ipswich, in fight for justice for victims, survivors and bereaved.

  •  Celotex executives were complicit in the murder of 72 people, including 18 children, in the fire at Grenfell Fire that broke out four and a half years today
  • Grenfell Community Campaigners are today at Celotex Factory, causing disruptive protest and demanding justice. Justice means jail time for those who are culpable
  • Celotex manufactured the highly flammable insulation, which was a primary factor in the atrocious fire at Grenfell Tower

We are the Grenfell Community Campaigners and we are at the Celotex factory in Ipswich this morning on the 4 and a half year anniversary, where Celotex are complicit in the murder of 72 people, of which 18 are children, in the most atrocious fire in Grenfell Tower, North Kensington. We will be here for two hours protesting. Anyone in the Ipswich area who is able to join us, please do so.

Celotex are one of the main culprits of the fire. They produced the foam insulation which was one of the major products which led to the fire spread, the release of toxic gases including hydrogen cyanide and subsequent death of 72 people, including 18 children.

The Public Inquiry into the fire revealed that Celotex rigged fire tests and therefore the fire certification. One of the executives, it was shared in the recent inquiry, said by email that he “didn;t give a f***” that they knew Celotex was highly flammable and toxic, and letting off cyanide fumes.

The Grenfell Community campaigners believe that the time is now to prosecute those responsible for the murder of those who needlessly perished in Grenfell Tower. We want justice. 

Justice for the Grenfell community means that those who are responsible for the 72 deaths are charged and spend time in jail, not just fined. There must be jail time, for those that knew the insulation was highly flammable and did nothing about it.

————————

Protest location: Celotex, Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh, Ipswich IP7 6BA

CONTACT:

firesafetyjustice@gmail.com

Online General Meeting – Saturday 11th December

Please join us at our next meeting.

Homes 4 All general meeting  Saturday 11 December (11am) followed by Campaign Against Empty Homes meeting (12:30pm)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83017338094

Meeting ID: 830 1733 8094

203 481 5240 United Kingdom

Agenda for HfA

1.Updates from all recent Activities & Meetings

2. Proposals for Next HfA  National Day of Action in 2022 (Feb 2022)

3. Grenfell Silent Walk

4. Updates from local Groups

4.1 Local authority Gov’t returns on 18m tall buildings, external wall sytems, cladding & Insulation: Nick L

5. AOB

Agenda for CAEH

  • Proposed date for setting up a Steering Committee (27 Jan from 7-8pm)
  • Draft text for leaflet for next year’s local elections
  • Proposed Online Meeting on history of the Squatters Movement & Actions for Today (March 2022)


Action Notes from Nov Meeting + Letter:
https://mcusercontent.com/3f882bdb367efbad599b88418/files/1331de46-ef0f-64c7-cedf-7d98fedf2565/Action_notes_for_H4All_13_Nov.pdf

Letter: https://mcusercontent.com/3f882bdb367efbad599b88418/files/4e1cf48e-b6c8-3ced-c4e1-c2643d555ef9/Letter_to_MP_about_proposed_changes_in_planning_policy_PBurnham.docx

Hear how campaigners won full fire safety remediation promise from Bellway, Tuesday 7 Dec

Protest in June 2021 at Bellway development in Chelmsford

Bellway is the first developer to cave in the battle to make developers pay for the building safety crisis. This comes as no surprise since the main organisers of Action for Fire Safety Justice, the group responsible for a series of high impact showroom protests, have been relentlessly targeting Bellway for over six months.

The biggest lesson from this victory is that protest works, particularly protests that directly hit the developers’ pockets and put off potential new buyers. This has been a key feature of the campaign, which has also targeted government with a rally at Downing Street. Homes for All has been proud to support this campaign, which has sought to unite tenants, leaseholders, trade unions and Grenfell campaigners in a struggle that fights for safety before profit.

Bellway Homes have agreed to fully fund the fire safety remediation of Caspian Quarter not only removes the financial burden from Caspian Quarter leaseholders, but provides a degree of peace of mind for the future in view of the incoming fire safety regimes such as the new standard PAS8890. This comes shortly after the win for leaseholders at Bellway’s Chelmsford development, where the developer confirmed it will step in to fund works that will remove unsafe Grenfell style cladding from their homes. https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/essex-housing-bellway-homes-replace-6210489

Bellway Homes confirmed in a letter to Barking Leaseholders:

In this instance and due to the unique set of circumstances, Bellway will step in, set aside legal responsibility, and wholly fund and deliver the removal and replacement of the balcony decking, check and rectify cavity barriers and install those considered missing behind the cladding, as well as replace the cladding with an A1/A2 rated alternative.

AFSJ issued a press statement saying:

This victory comes after a concerted effort from Caspian Quarter and other leaseholders, support from the active Barking Reach Residents Association, housing groups such as Homes4All, other campaign groups such as UK Cladding Action Group, End Our Cladding Scandal, and National Leasehold Campaign, Polluter Pays Bill team, Grenfell campaigners, Fire Brigade Union and other trades unions. The campaign included multiple local and national protests, meetings, emails, media coverage and was also supported by the MP for Barking Dame Margaret Hodge, Councillor Cameron Geddes and the Barking & Dagenham Council, and the Bishop of Barking.

Joanna, the co-founder of Action of Fire Safety Justice, said:

I am over the moon and cannot describe the feeling of relief upon hearing the news of Bellway finally doing the right thing for Caspian Quarter, after they had agreed to do the same for our friends at the Marconi development in Chelmsford. The building safety crisis has so many facets and consequences – in addition to safety and financial worries, it is a tremendous pressure on leaseholders’ and their families’ mental health.

Action for Fire Safety Justice will continue to fight for and with all leaseholders affected by this horrendous scandal. We call upon Bellway to remediate the rest of their defective buildings, and on other developers to follow suit, so that we may all sleep soundly, not having to worry for our lives or livelihoods.

AFSJ are keen to share their learnings with others who are facing the same thing and they will host a public meeting on 7th December where they will talk about how the victory was won and answer questions. Homes for All congratulates all who had a role in winning this concession from Bellway. We are excited to continue supporting any housing struggle that fights for homes for people, not for profit.

Public Meeting: TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2021 FROM 19:00-20:30

Action for Fire Safety Justice Update: How We Beat Bellway & How to Keep Going?

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?

Agenda

*How We Beat Bellway (and how you can too)*
Chloe, Joanna & Kelly, ASFJ crew & Bellway Must Pay co-founders

*How We’re Beating Barratt*
Rhian, Barratt leaseholder, AFSJ crew

*How We Won London City Hall*
Reece (photographer and film-maker) and Natalie (Tower Hamlets Leaseholders for Justice), AFSJ crew

*How to Keep Going: Building Safety Crisis and Mental Health*
Natalie and Jane, AFSJ crew

*Q&A session: successes, challenges and next steps

*Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81699453728

Meeting ID: 816 9945 3728

Dial by your location
0203 901 7895 United Kingdom

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/FireSafetyJustice

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:
https://mcusercontent.com/3f882bdb367efbad599b88418/images/a4cd909b-fc95-2052-f3d8-1b85f71105dd.jpg

National Pensioners Convention protest over increased Winter Deaths due to Home Fuel price rises. Friday 26th November at 12 noon:
https://mcusercontent.com/3f882bdb367efbad599b88418/files/1d5eb3bf-ef2f-ba39-f403-ed360a6c3f06/2021_Oct_NPC_Cold_weather_deaths_protest_1_.pdf

Tuesday 7th December, 2021 7pmACTION FOR FIRE SAFETY JUSTICE UPDATE: HOW WE BEAT BELLWAY & HOW TO KEEP GOING? 
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?

https://www.facebook.com/events/1298495370653981


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

Building Safety Crisis Day of Action, 30 October, keeps up pressure on government

Action for Fire Safety Justice protest at City Hall 30 October 2021

The Tories re-announced their ‘solution’ to the building safety crisis in the Budget last week, a £5bn fund to tackle fire safety remediation. Of course this money is a fraction of the £5 – £50bn that remediation is expected to cost. This was accompanied, as usual, by warm words about how leaseholders should not have to pay. If they thought they could put a dampener on the planned protests on Saturday, they were very wrong. There were eight protests and seven of them were live streamed into the Building Safety Crisis rally online. We were delighted to support the protests in person and by providing the tech support.

We heard, a couple of days before the day of action that Michael Gove had called leaseholders in for a meeting. Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Levelling Up (sic), Housing and Communities. We think there is little doubt that the publicity around the upcoming protests played a role in his decision to meet leaseholders. Following the protests we are reliably informed that there is more interest in the press and parliament for a real solution – the Polluter Pays Bill.

Solidarity to all those fighting back!

Watch the Online Rally On YouTube On Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Homes4AllUK/videos/570884867514185 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7HBXYRrtIQ&t=1745s

We demanded that the Government makes Developers pay! The costs to fix fire safety issues should not fall on tenants or leaseholders.
Speakers were: Chloe Waite, Action for Fire Safety Justice Tanya Murat, Homes For All Jenni Garrett, End Our Cladding Scandal Matt Wrack, FBU Georgie Hume, CLADDAG Chair, Moyra Samuels, Grenfell Campaigner
Protests featured at the online rally were: ⁕ London City Hal l⁕ Abbey Quays Barking ⁕ Upton Park ⁕ Ipswich Waterfront ⁕ Stotfold ⁕ Bristol City Hall ⁕ Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights

REPORT: This ITV report is a good example of the coverage we received.

https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2021-10-30/the-costs-could-bankrupt-me-cladding-victims-plead-for-government-support

Protests, 30 October 2021

Barking – Weston Homes
Bristol City Hall
London City Hall
London City Hall
Ipswich Waterfront
Milton Keynes – Crest Nicholson
Stotfold – Linden Homes
Upton Park – Barratt
How one leasholder re-imagined Michael Gove