Jun 242012

The Prime Minister is proposing denying  under-25s  any housing benefit after the next election.

The National Private Tenants Organisation warn: ‘This could lead to poverty, hardship and homelessness and a generation of
young people trapped at home. This would hit those struggling on a minimum wage in areas of inflated rents and where there is competition for accommodation, particularly hard. Estimates put the number of people under 25 claiming housing benefit at around 380,000.’

Following our meeting with the Housing Minister’s office, they are asking for evidence on how landlords are consulting about the Localism Bill.  They want examples of council and housing association landlords failing to consult tenants fully on any proposed changes in tenancy strategies – eg use of fixed term tenancies and up to 80% market rents; changes to who can go on the waiting list and rehousing for homeless etc.  They also want evidence that 2-year minimum tenancies are being proposed or used other than ‘exceptionally’.  Send any evidence to Housing Emergency: mitchellav@parliament.uk or by post: Austin Mitchell MP, House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

 Can you help?

Tue 26th June      at Brighton Conference Centre   Leafletting Unite union conference – call Eileen 07432 098440  to help

Wed 27th            lobby National Landlords Association in London  Meet 8.30am Vauxhall tube  email housingforthe99@gmail.com to confirm

Sat 30th              Defend Council Housing national meeting 12-4pm Trades and Labour Club 200 Duke St Sheffield  – all welcome

 And let us know if you are organising meetings, protests or lobbies

Eileen Short

for Housing Emergency

Jan 312012

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 mitchellav@parliament.uk
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 eileenshort@hotmail.com; mitchellav@parliament.uk or info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk