The Great London Clearances: Decision Time

Joan Twelves

The House of Lords’ Amendments to the Housing Bill

charles12-trial-port-xSuch is the perversion of democracy in this country that the fate of working class homes is now in the hand of unelected peers and bishops.

And such are the peculiarities of the British class system that, while our old Etonian elected leaders sell off our land and homes to the highest bidders, it is lords and ladies born and bred on council estates who are leading the battle against them.

These lords and ladies have spent some weeks in Committee scrutinising the Housing and Planning Bill passed with such haste by the House of Commons on the night of 12 January and they are now reporting back. Despite having discussed a myriad amendments, only some will get voted on by the full House as only five sessions have been timetabled with the third (final) reading of the bill scheduled for…

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KtHB Press Release: Wed 13 April

PRESS RELEASE

Wednesday 13 April – immediate release

Thousands to March With the Homeless and Sleep Out to highlight soaring homelessness and offer ‘solidarity not charity’

On Friday 15 April UK at 6pm, thousands will assemble at Downing Street to join a March With the Homeless, with the march culminating in a mass ‘sleep out’ at Southwark Council Offices from 9pm. The demonstration is being organised by Streets Kitchen, a homelessness justice organisation, and the Kill the Housing Bill campaign coalition, whose housing bill demo was attended by 10,000 people last month.

This Friday’s protest aims to highlight rising homelessness as well as provide practical support to those sleeping rough, in an offer of solidarity not charity. Campaigners say the Housing Bill will make many more people homeless. Protesters have been asked to bring tents, sleeping bags, food, clothes and shopping trolleys in preparation to March with the Homeless and offer #SolidarityNotCharity. Campaigners planning the ‘sleep out’ said that there would be music, free food, warmth and community.

As well as the central London protests, activities are planned across the capital and across the UK. On 15 April, there are March with the Homeless demonstrations planned in ten UK towns and cities and Kill the Bill campaigners are gathering outside town halls and housing offices for sleep outs in Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Harlow and Leeds. Faith leaders, homeless people’s organisations, community groups and local councillors will be attending the sleep outs.

The protest comes as two major elements of the Housing and Planning Bill were defeated in the House of Lords. The Government could be forced to make concessions following these embarrassing defeats, with opposition to the Bill outside of Parliament growing every day. Campaigners vowed to continue to fight every element of the Bill, as it threatens to force more people into insecurity and homelessness.

According to a broad definition of homelessness which includes people living in emergency or temporary accommodation, nearly a million men, women and children are set to become homeless by 2020 unless the Government takes action to address a crisis. Street homelessness has doubled in the last five years – with over 7,500 sleeping rough in London in the last year.

A spokesperson for Streets Kitchen said: “Streets Kitchen works tirelessly to provide essential services for the homeless community. We have seen levels of homelessness double since 2010, and we are calling this demonstration to demand an end to this crisis. There is no reason in this society for people not to be able to access adequate housing other than lack of political will. People on the streets are being killed by political indifference, and it is time for everyone to come together and shout ‘enough is enough’.”

A spokesperson for the Kill the Housing Bill campaign said: “As many people are beginning to recognise, the Tories’ Housing and Planning Bill will worsen the housing crisis and escalate homelessness. It aims to destroy council housing, condemning millions to a lifetime of insecure, expensive private renting, and does nothing for the rising number of people who have no secure place to call home. The Housing Bill is down and now is the time to kick it – we will continue the fight against every element of the Bill, both inside and outside Parliament. Everyone deserves a decent home, but landlords, developers and the rich are the only ones to benefit from this Bill.”

53 year old teaching assistant Janice Sweeney has never been politically active before but now spends much of her free time lobbying against the Housing Bill. She has raised considerable support from members of the House of Lords and will be at the West London Sleep Out at Hammersmith Town Hall. Jan explains: “I’m going out there to prevent my grandkids being homeless in the future. Whole working class communities are being broken apart.”

Protests are set to continue throughout this weekend and on Saturday 16 April, Kill the Bill campaigners will join a ‘Housing Bloc’ as part of the People’s Assembly demonstration for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education.

The Kill the Housing Bill campaign is supported is supported by Radical Housing Network, Defend Council Housing, People’s Assembly, GMB Union, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Bakers Union, Unite Housing Workers, London Gypsy Traveller Unit, Focus E15 Campaign, Generation Rent, National Bargee Travellers Association, UCL Rent Strike Campaign, Goldsmiths Rent Strike Campaign, Leeds Hands Off Our Homes, The Green Party, Momentum, John McDonnell MP and Ken Loach, director of homelessness film Cathy Come Home, and many more.

Notes to Editors

1. According to homelessness charities and government’s own figures, see Independent.

2. See Guardian.

For further information and interviews please contact:

Katya 07791018631

Joe 07873557040

Email: killthehousingbill@gmail.com

Facebook Event: March with the Homeless

Facebook Page: Kill the Housing Bill

Twitter: @KillHousingBill @StreetsKitchen #KilltheHousingBill #MarchWithTheHomeless #SolidarityNotCharity

Website: killthehousingbill.wordpress.com / Streets Kitchen

KtHB Press Release : 120416

Housing Bill: Government Suffers Major Defeats in Lords, as Kill the Housing Bill campaign grows

Two major elements of the Housing and Planning Bill have been defeated in the House of Lords last night. The Government could be forced to make major concessions following these embarrassing defeats, with opposition to the Bill outside of Parliament growing every day

The Lords supported two amendments to the Bill:

The first extends the Starter Home discount to twenty years, not five as the Bill stated.

The second allows councils to choose how many starter homes are built in their area in a bid to make sure affordable housing for those on low incomes remains a priority

A spokesperson for the Kill the Housing Bill campaign coalition, whose housing bill demo was attended by 10,000 people last month, said: “These defeats show just how unpopular the Tories’ bill is becoming. It’s clear that it will worsen the housing crisis, and force more people into homelessness. It aims to destroy council housing, condemning millions to a lifetime of insecure, expensive private renting.

Starter Homes – the bill’s flagship policy – are no solution to the crisis. They will help only the wealthy, and do nothing for the millions of people struggling with housing across the country. We will continue this fight against the bill, inside and outside Parliament. Everyone deserves a decent home, but landlords, developers and the rich will be the only ones to benefit from this Bill.”

On Friday 15 April UK at 6pm, thousands will assemble at Downing Street to join a March With the Homeless, with the march culminating in a mass sleep out at Southwark Council Offices from 9pm. The demonstration is being organised by the Kill the Housing Bill campaign and Streets Kitchen, a homelessness justice organisation.

Notes to Editors

For further information and interviews please contact:

Katya 07791018631

Joe 07873557040

Email: killthehousingbill@gmail.com

Facebook Event: March with the Homeless

Facebook Page: Kill the Housing Bill

Update from last KtHB Organising Meeting: April 2nd

 

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

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

MARCH FOR HEALTH, HOMES, JOBS AND EDUCATION: APRIL 16 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 01:00 PM ·
March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education: April 16 2016

NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2016

HHEJ_04.jpg

March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education | End Austerity Now | Cameron Must GO!
Saturday 16 April 2016

Assemble: 1pm, Gower Street / Euston Road, London NW1
March to Trafalgar Square