Update from last KtHB Organising Meeting: April 2nd

community

Thanks to everyone who came to the last campaign organising meeting on Saturday 2nd in London.
We have set ourselves a packed schedule again for the next 2 months. We have already had a massive impact with our campaign by exposing the government’s agenda with this Bill and forcing a public debate about it. Hundreds of amendments have been submitted by the lords, which is delaying the bill becoming law, and now we want to maximise the pressure on MPs and Lords to throw out this Bill when it comes to a vote.
To make our campaign events successful, like the recent national march in London, we have set up a number of working groups.
We have a media team that is writing press releases, writing and designing leaflets and posters, updating the website and facebook page, setting up event pages, doing interviews…
We have an admin team who are managing the email account, liaising with local groups to send out materials, get speakers for local meetings…
We also have teams working on finance, trade-unions, and estates.
Would you like to join one of these teams or can you help with any of these tasks? Please reply by email and we will add you to the email discussion group so you can be actively involved in the campaign co-ordination.
If you (or your group) is a supporter of this campaign and you can
–          add your name to a list of supporters on our webiste,
–          provide speakers for meetings/press interviews,
–          provide stories or quotes for our press releases
–          make a small donation to producing campaign materials
then we really need to hear from you. The strength of this campaign will be the breadth of views and issues it can bring together and no professional spokesperson can put forward our case as powerfully as the people directly affected.
Campaign timetable:
15th of April  – Nationwide sleep-out outside Town Hallls against the housing bill – A chance to hold rolling street meetings, tap into local media, and make everyone aware that the Housing Bill could make any of us homeless!
In many areas there will also be marches with the homeless on that day before the sleepouts
Full details here
Help us keep our sleepout list updated – send us details of your event for our facebook page
and our website
16th of April – Join the Housing Bloc on the People’s Assembly National March for Jobs, Homes, Health and Education. We will be joining junior doctors, teachers, disabled people and all the other groups like ourselves who are at war this callous austerity government.
Join and share the facebook event here:https://www.facebook.com/events/1045107828868094/
Can you help us run a KtHB stall at the demo? Please reply to volunteer
11th May: Lobby our MPs and Lords to vote against this Bill. Contact them now to get an appointment on the day or to ask them to meet you at the meeting inside parliament from 3-7pm (model letter is going up on website this week)
Protest outside parliament from 12pm to 2pm (this is prime ministers question time so bring lots of noise makers!)
18th June: Second national march against the Housing Bill in London – save the date.
The next 2 organising meetings for KtHB will be on Monday the 18th April 6.30pm and Saturday the 30th April 11am  (venues to be confirmed)
.

National Sleep Out & March with the Homeless: Friday April 15th

national-sleep-out

The Housing Bill won’t solve the housing crisis – instead, under the provisons of the Bill, homelessness can only increase.

March with the Homeless London

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.

National Sleep Out Against the Housing Bill

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:

Kill the Housing Bill Hackney Vigil against The Housing Bill

Lambeth Sleepout Against the Housing Bill

SOUTHWARK: Kill the Housing Bill National Sleepout

Let’s ‪#‎MarchwiththeHomeless and ‪#‎SleepOut ‪#‎CampOut‪#‎KilltheHousingBill. Let’s make next weekend one to remember

Press Release 11/03/16 – Sisters Uncut and Focus E15 will join thousands from across the country this Sunday to oppose the Government’s Housing Bill

Sisters Uncut and Focus E15 will join thousands from across the country this Sunday to oppose the Government’s Housing Bill and demand: secure homes for all, rent controls, homes for people not for profit.
 
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The march will assemble at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at 12 noon Sunday 13 March 2016. Community housing campaigns will lead the march, joined by John McDonnell MP and celebrities, migrants, architects, private renters, students, trade unions and more. Rally in Parliament Sq at 2pm.
 
The demonstration is organised by the campaign to Kill the Housing Bill#KilltheHousingBill. Campaigners say the Bill, currently in the Lords, threatens to make the UK’s housing crisis much worse by sending rent and house prices soaring and aims to destroy council and social housing.
 
This week has seen opposition to the Housing Bill escalate. This Tuesday, ameeting at Islington Town Hall to oppose the Bill attracted over 400 people. AndRadical Housing Network, a network of London-based housing campaigns, are protesting the Bill by occupying an empty property – prime real estate – near Harrods to set up ‘Our House’, a pop-up Community Centre with a week-long programme of events.
 
Focus E15, a housing campaign of mothers from Newham said:
“Focus E15 will be demonstrating against the Housing Bill this Sunday because this Bill is the worst attack on social housing we’ve seen. It will result in the private sale of up to 100% of council houses, and raise rents through “pay to stay”, forcing thousands from their homes and out of London.
 
“We fight Labour mayor Robin Wales’ social cleansing policies in Newham and now we must collectively act across London and the nation to fight this Tory Housing Bill.”
 
Sisters Uncut, a feminist group taking direct action over cuts to domestic violence services, said: “Two women a week die at the hands of violent partners or ex-partners. Women experiencing domestic violence must have viable housing options to be able to leave abusive relationships. Social housing, housing benefit and refuges are vital provisions to provide women with escape routes, gain independence and heal from their experiences.
 
“The Housing Bill will not just undermine women’s options and agency, it will lead to more women being forced to remain in danger. The government should not feel comfortable about causing the most vulnerable people in our society to be at greater risk of poverty, homelessness and abuse.”
 
Antonia Bright of Movement for Justice, a migrants campaign protesting Yarl’s Wood detention centre, said:
“The fight for housing rights is a fight for basic dignity – to live and be free to go to school, to work, to be safe, and be part of a community. Whether we were born here, or came later this is all our fight. To win, which together we can, our communities must be untied, bold, and must reject all racism and anti-immigrant bigotry.
 
“The political parties have been prepared to blame immigration for the housing crisis. This is a distraction from the destruction of social housing.”
 
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’ council properties 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 income of £70,000 in London.
 
Notes to editors
● The march assembles at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3TL at 12 noon on Sunday 13 March. The route is via Aldwych, south over Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge to Parliament. Rally in Parliament Square at 2pm.
● The march will be joined by John McDonnell MP, Caroline Lucas MP, 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), 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.
● For more information see: https://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 are available to interview.
● FB EVENT click here. Twitter: @KillHousingBill #KilltheHousingBill
PRESS CONTACT
Joe Beswick 07873 557040
Katya Nasim 07791 018631
.

Press Release: CORBYN & LUCAS BACK THOUSANDS STRONG DEMO OPPOSING HOUSING BILL

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.

 HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTS/973999866019425/

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.

Press Contact:

Email: killthehousingbillmedia@gmail.com

Joe Beswick 07873 557040

Katya Nasim 07791 018631

 

Kill the Housing Bill – Opposition Spreading

ktb1

Opposition is spreading fast.  The House of Lords may vote to block the Bill’s progress in Parliament (for a while at least).  This is the time to step up efforts and build the march against the Bill – to show our united determination and pressure MPs to oppose it too.
50,000 leaflets have gone out in the last week.  Posters and stickers are also now available.

New supporters include National Union of Teachers, CWU post and telecoms trade unions, Peoples Assembly, two London councils and the Momentum campaign (supporters of Jeremy Corbyn). And 74 academics nail the Housing Bill – seeGuardian letters (the second letter).

How you can help
* Can you phone 5 tenant groups/reps in the next week to help get the word out ?  We can send a list, plus suggested ‘script’ of points.  Please email if you can help.
* Lords – can you email 20 Lords to explain why the Bill is wrong?
* Get the word out:
   – use leaflet, posters, stickers and petition.  Collect from Unite office 128 Theobalds Rd WC1X 8TN  (check first if you need a lot ) or  email to get them posted.
   – like and share  Facebook  National Demo Against The Housing Bill and  petition:Stop the Housing Bill
* Come to the next Kill the Bill organising meeting 2nd March 7pm  – not at usual place but at Unite 33-37 Moreland St London EC1V 8BB (unless you hear otherwise)
What’s on 
29 Feb      7pm Housing Public Meeting Ealing Town Hall Unite Community 07983 977775
2 March    7pm Kill the Housing Bill organising meeting
6 March    1pm London Youth march for Homes – Facebook:YOUTH MARCH FOR HOUSING (LONDON)
7 March    6pm London Mayoral election hustings: NUT – details and tickets here 
                   and see petition:   Teachers, Students and Key Workers
8 March    6.30pm islington Council meeting for all residents on the Housing Bill – at Town Hall
.

Motion to Tenants Council – Kill the Housing Bill

THIS TENANTS COUNCIL NOTES:

The Government’s Housing and Planning Bill means higher rents, less security and less chance of a home you can afford. The Bill:
• Makes councils sell off existing council homes
• Removes secure tenancies
• Introduces a “pay to stay” scheme for social housing tenants if two household members income is more than £30k (£40k in London)
• Means increased rents and longer waiting lists
• Reduces travellers’ rights
• Makes councils provide unaffordable “Starter Homes” instead of affordable housing for rent

The Kill the Housing Bill Campaign has already organised protests, lobbies and meetings aimed at bringing the Bill down, or making it unworkable. Walworth East Area Forum has already voted to oppose the Housing Bill and urge Southwark Council to do the same.

THIS TENANTS COUNCIL BELIEVES:

The Housing and Planning Bill will not solve the housing crisis. It will make it worse. It will force people from their homes, families and communities, into insecure private renting.
This Tenants Council calls on Southwark Council to refuse to implement the Housing Bill and in particular to:
• Not collect data on the incomes of tenants
• Not introduce higher rents for some tenants as part of the government’s pay to stay scheme, or any local variant involving a taper system
• Continue to issue secure tenancies to all new tenants
• Not sell off “high value council homes” and refuse to pay the levy imposed by the government to fund Right to Buy to housing association tenants
• Call on the Council Trade Unions to support non co-operation with the Housing Bill and resist any attempt by council chief officers or Government appointees to force through implementation
• Call on TRAs, Area Forums and SGTO to support the Council’s position of non-co-operation with the Housing Bill
• Propose a joint campaign of non-co-operation with other Councils opposed to the Bill

THIS TENANTS COUNCIL RESOLVES:

• To add its name to the Kill the Housing Bill Campaign
• To urge the delegates of Tenants Council to publicise the Kill the Housing Bill Campaign and send representatives to the organising meetings
• To urge tenants to support the national demonstration at 12pm at Lincolns Inn Fields on Sunday 13 March 2016
• To urge Area Forums and TRAs and SGTO to adopt this motion and organise local activities against the Bill.

Sign the petition against the Housing Bill

TO: MINISTER OF STATE FOR HOUSING AND PLANNING. BRANDON LEWIS MP.

Scrap the Housing and Planning Bill, in particular:
1. Stop forcing councils to sell much needed social homes
2. Drop plans to charge higher rent to households with incomes over £30k (40k in London)
3. Retain secure tenancies
4. Scrap moves to make it easier to evict private renters, and reintroduce rent controls
5. Invest in social housing so that councils can build truly affordable homes

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The Housing Bill will take away public funding from affordable homes for rent, instead funnelling money into ‘Starter Homes’ that only the rich can afford. It will make it easier for private landlords to evict renters, and do nothing to control private rents.

The bill will also force cash-strapped councils to hand over millions of pounds to housing associations to allow them to sell their properties cheaply, and replace secure tenancies with ones as short as 2 years

Social housing has been the bedrock of many communities for the past 70 years. It pays for itself and 30 years ago provided homes to one in three British people, allowing people and communities to thrive. We are not against people buying a home, but this must not be at the expense of social housing for those who can’t afford to buy.

Sign here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-housing-bill

 

March Against The Housing Bill – January 30th

ktb3

ASSEMBLE 12 NOON AT IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM LAMBETH ROAD SE1 6HZ

MARCH TO CAMERON’S PUBLICLY FUNDED HOME IN DOWNING STREET FOR 2PM

The Housing Bill marks the end of social housing. The Housing Bill condemns millions more to a lifetime of insecure private renting. It is a charter for estate demolitions and property speculation driving up rents and house prices.

  • The end of secure lifetime tenancies. Council tenancies will be for 2 to 5 years with no right to pass it on to your children.
  • Landlords will have access to tenant’s personal income information and if households start to earn over £40,000 (a couple on the living wage) they will be hit with a PAY-TO-STAY TAX for the difference between their social rent and the market rent – in Waterloo that would be an average of £26,000.
  •  Local authorities will be forced to sell ‘high value’ properties whenever they come vacant – what flat in London is not high value? Housing association tenants will get the right to buy, so reducing stock further.
  •  Private renters and Travellers to have reduced housing rights.
  •  Developers will have to build ‘starter homes’ for sale instead of ‘affordable’ homes for rent. Starter homes will be worth up to £450,000 and sold at a 20% discount – but only to people with enough money to get that kind of a mortgage!

Join the march, lobby your MP, spread the word and KILL THIS BILL

Info: housingactivists.co.uk or radicalhousingnetwork.org.

To help: lambethhousingactivists@gmail.com / 07834 828 292