Fight is on against the Housing and Planning Bill:
The passing of the Housing and Planning Bill (the Bill) is distressing for many and should anger all who are concerned about housing in Britain. Government has again shown its arrogance, refusing to listen to the well reasoned arguments of tenant, housing and homeless groups, local authorities, academics,trade unions,faith leaders and community organisations, as well as Peers and MPs.
Government has ignored the millions of people directly threatened by the Bill, warning that it spells disaster for the future of housing and sustainable communities. The parliamentary process has failed to safeguard the interests of working class people, of the majority of British people who know we already have a housing crisis, of those already homeless, of Gypsy Travellers, of people fearing the Pay to Stay tax, and everyone trapped in expensive private renting, and struggling for a stable home they can afford.Instead Parliament has passed legislation that will make the housing crisis worse. For us this is not the end but the beginning of building a serious mass movement to stop these attacks on tenants and housing rights.
On 13th March, 10,000 people demonstrated in central London against the Bill and for secure homes and rent control for all. On 3rd May, 200 people,from at least 25 local authority areas, protested inside and outside parliament, with the support of the leader of the Labour Party,the Green Party,trade union representatives and council, housing association and private sector tenants and organisations. This is the start of a powerful alliance that will continue to grow. Huge meetings opposing the Bill have already been held in several London boroughs and similar campaigns are developing across the country. We are determined to fight and defeat this Bill. We will:
- Continue to push for changes when the substantial elements ofthe Bill contained in secondary legislation come back to Parliament.
- Work with councils and housing associations,trade unions and others to challenge the Bill legally and in every other way.
- Hold urgent discussions at local and regional level about the practical implementation of the Bill, and in particular resisting changes to tenancy agreements that would require tenants to provide income data for‘Pay to Stay’, and refusal to include estates on ‘Brownfield’ registers.
- Call on local councils to continue to issue permanent secure tenancies and refuse to sell-off empty council homes.
- Support tenants to organise together in every local area to boycott the pay-to-stay tax,resist evictions, and block regeneration schemes that lead to social cleansing.
- Organise a second national demonstration against the Bill on 18th June.
- Call on Labour and other opposition parties to confirm their support for repeal of the Housing and Planning Bill.
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