Housing

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Anti-privatisation campaigners and Unite the union in the London borough of Bromley are calling for a referendum on the planned privatisation of the learning disabilities service, due to be privatised on 1 October.

Adult services staff, members of Unite, struck for 48 hours from 00.01 on Thursday 27 August. Their strike is part of ongoing strikes across council services facing privatisation.

Library staff will strike for five days starting from 00.01 on 1 September, as the council goes ahead with its plans to privatise 14 of the borough's libraries.

Fighting council privatisations; Stoke housing workers strike; Tube strikes: what progress?; national Gallery strikes continue; strikes for jobs and safety on First Great Western.

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What happens when benefits are cut

Author: 

Sally Hendrick

The Tories plan to stop 18-21 year olds claiming Housing Benefit. Sally Hendrick knows what this will mean.


It’s hard to know where to start with my story of being a “homeless youth”. Partly because it feels so long ago now that it’s difficult to write as if I was still experiencing it; partly because some of my memories about the chronological order of things are jumbled; partly because I still block a lot of the memories out, it’s difficult to conjure them up to be able to write about them coherently.

Stopped from claiming benefits, young people will be vulnerable to becoming homeless. One young woman's story.

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A government for the rich

Author: 

Ann Field

The Tories are committed to cutting public spending by £30 billion over the next four years. This will mean annual cuts twice the size of any year’s cuts over the past five years. Although they have not identified all their cuts it is already clear to some degree where the axe will fall.

Policies include debarring unemployed under-21s from claiming Housing Benefit and cutting the annual benefits cap — the maximum payable to any claimant, whatever their circumstances — from £26,000 to £23,000.

The first Tory government since 1997 to have an absolute majority in Parliament will rule on behalf of the rich, the powerful and the bigoted. It will target the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, the working class, and the one force capable of defeating the Tories’ new laws: the trade union movement.

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Reclaim Brixton!

Author: 

Ruth Cashman

Two thousand people gathered in Brixton on Saturday 25 April under the banner of Reclaim Brixton.

The day included a short lived occupation of the Town Hall, several marches and speeches and music in Windrush Square.

Reclaim Brixton brings together a number of new and existing campaigns together.

Demands of the protest included:

• Refurbishment not regeneration of council estates — no evictions of Lambeth residents

• Stop racist policing, stop police violence, no more stop and search

• No cuts to local services — save Lambeth Libraries

Two thousand people gathered in Brixton on Saturday 25 April under the banner of Reclaim Brixton.

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Social housing not social cleansing

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

Social housing tenants in London have paid £50 million extra in rent over the last three years because housing associations have been re-categorising their properties, changing them from “‘social”‘ to “‘affordable”‘.

Social housing should be publicly owned and controlled, not outsourced to housing associations or arms-length organisations, high quality, and with really affordable rents. 

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Labour needs a socialist housing policy

Author: 

Pete Gilman and Gemma Short

Housing is a crucial issue in this general election.

Britain is facing the greatest housing crisis since 1945. There is an acute and growing shortage for those on average and below-average income. Virtually no council housing has been built for decades, homelessness is increasing, private sector rents are soaring, and thousands are being forced to move to cheaper parts of Britain because of the cap on housing benefit.

Britain is facing the greatest housing crisis since 1945. There is an acute and growing shortage for those on average and below-average income. Virtually no council housing has been built for decades, homelessness is increasing, private sector rents are soaring, and thousands are being forced to move to cheaper parts of Britain because of the cap on housing benefit.

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£27 billion for landlords

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Private landlords gain about £27 billion a year from housing benefit and tax breaks, according to the Generation Rent lobby group.

There are about 1.6 million buy-to-let landlords in the UK, and about 4.75 million households rent from them. Numbers both of landlords and of private tenants are rising.

The £27 billion total comes from:

£9.3 billion of housing benefit

£1.69 billion of “wear-and-tear” tax relief landlords can claim on their properties

£6.63 billion of tax that landlords do not have to pay on mortgage interest payments

Private landlords gain about £27 billion a year from housing benefit and tax breaks.

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London housing campaigns step up action

Author: 

Gemma Short

The occupation of the Guinness Trust estate in Brixton, South London, has ended after campaigners managed to stop the eviction of some residents and secured an agreement for shorthold tenants to be rehoused in secure Guinness Trust houses elsewhere in London.

Campaigners have vowed they will re-occupy if there are any further moves to evict the estate’s 44 tenants.

Housing campaigns across London are stepping up their activities.

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£27 billion subsidies for landlords

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Private landlords gain about £27bn a year from housing benefit and tax breaks, according to the Generation Rent lobby group.

There are about 1.6 million buy-to-let landlords in the UK, and about 4.75 million households rent from them. Numbers both of landlords and of private tenants are rising.

The £27 billion total comes from:

Private landlords gain about £27bn a year from housing benefit and tax breaks.

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Stop evictions!

Author: 

Ruth Cashman

Shorthold tenants at the Loughborough Park Estate are being threatened with eviction so that Guinness Trust Housing Association can tear down their houses to build expensive new flats.

There is an occupation on the estate to help build the campaign against the evictions. There are daily meetings at 7pm to organise the campaign and demos at the office at 9am.

On Thursday morning at 9.30 am there will be a protest against the bailiffs that are  coming to evict someone from their home.

Meet at Elveden House, Loughborough Park, Brixton, SW9 8NN.

Shorthold tenants at the Loughborough Park Estate are being threatened with eviction so that Guinness Trust Housing Association can tear down their houses to build expensive new flats.

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