Housing Emergency Time for an Alternative
Tenants’ security, rents and benefits, and the principles of non-market housing for rent are under an all-out assault.
We’ve lauched an open statement and on 21st Feb 6.30 House of Commons Ken Loach, Owen Jones (author, Chavs), Stephen Battersby, Councillor Catherine West, Austin Mitchell MP, tenants, unions and others will launch our Time for an Alternative.
Meetings are being organised around the country to galvanise action, including: 25 Feb Leeds, 16 March 7pm Cambridge, 29 March Harlow. Get involved – meet up 6pm 7th Feb at Camden Town Hall (see below).
We agreed on 15 November to unite with other groups, organise meetings and get out publicity on the streets, combine campaigning with other action as needed against evictions.
What you can do now
1. sign the Housing Emergency statement – download the statement here or see below. Ask your tenant, union, community and political group(s) to sign it. Send confirmation to this email or to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. come to an organising meeting at Camden Town Hall Judd St WC1 9JE
3. Publicise and get others along to the launch meeting 21 Feb 6.30pm meeting at House of Commons with Ken Loach, Owen Jones and others – see leaflet here
4. Organise a local meeting – get in touch if you want help with leaflets, speakers etc
Housing Emergency – Time for an Alternative
Government is fuelling a housing emergency, with an all-out attack on tenants and council housing.
With house building collapsing, mortgages unaffordable, and private rents rising, Government is forcing up rents, attacking secure tenancies, and drastically cutting housing benefit.
Homeless applications and rough sleeping are already rising, and there are 4.5 million people on housing waiting lists. 1.3 million private tenants face homelessness or debt (Chartered Institute of Housing), and 7 million report using credit to pay for their home last year (Shelter).
Government’s housing measures do not have an electoral mandate. They will create more evictions, homelessness and fear, but will not curb high rents. They do nothing to create secure, affordable homes for rent desperately needed for all those who are priced out by the housing market. They will create exclusion zones driving out the low-paid, the sick and the poor, and their families.
We call on Councillors, MPs, tenant and trade union organisations, housing, disability and poverty campaigners and all who want sustainable, mixed communities across the UK to join in a campaign around these Action points:
1. Resist and campaign against cuts in housing benefit: we call on Councillors and other landlords not to evict tenants who fall behind with their rent as a result of the new cuts in housing benefit.
2. Reject huge council rent rises driven by government debt and inflation formula.
3. Oppose the use of so-called “Affordable Rent”, in fact unaffordable and insecure, with near-market rents and time-limited tenancies.
4. No scapegoating: The shortage of housing is a result of underinvestment and failure to build. It is not caused by existing or would-be tenants in work or not, of whatever race or religion.
5. Defend security of tenure for existing and future tenants.
6. Regulation to control private sector rents.
7. A programme of investment in new and improved council and other house building at genuinely-affordable rents.
It’s time to stand together, in a united, determined campaign to stop these attacks and demand investment in the homes we need: secure, accountable and genuinely affordable.
Add your name to this statement, and get your tenant group, trade union, campaign or community group to sign it. To sign send your name and organisation to Housing Emergency Alternative email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com