Housing

Fight rent rises!

The housing crisis in London has not bypassed student accommodation one bit.

Currently students at UCL halls of accommodation in Camden are organising weekly meetings to fight back against worsening living conditions (including no hot water for two weeks) as well as above-inflation increases in rent year by year.

UCL is one of the worst offenders for overpriced student housing, with an average price of £157.77 per week for a basic single room, and many rooms costing more than £200. Many students are having to pay more for their rent than they receive in their student loan.

The housing crisis in London has not bypassed student accommodation one bit.

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The socialist answer to UKIP

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Editorial

Tory defector Douglas Carswell became UKIP’s first elected MP on 9 October, and another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, may win on 20 November in Rochester and Strood. We examine UKIP’s manifesto.

UKIP: “Migrants are a drain on UK resources, including benefits and NHS”

A socialist response to UKIP's mainfesto.

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Trade union support for Focus E15 campaign

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Ruth Cashman

The following text is based on the motion passed by Lambeth Unison. Please put a version in your branch!

FOCUS E15 CAMPAIGN: "SOCIAL HOUSING, NOT SOCIAL CLEANSING"

This branch notes

Lambeth Council Unison in South London has passed a motion in support of the Focus E15 campaign around housing being waged by young mothers and mothers-to-be in Newham. Please put a similar motion to your union branch.

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E15 mums lead housing battle

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Michael Johnson

Activists from the Focus E15 campaign have occupied an empty property on the Carpenters Estate to highlight the mismatch between the empty homes there and Newham's growing waiting list for social housing.

The campaign started after last year's funding cuts by Labour-run Newham Council, with a group of young mothers fighting eviction from their homes at a hostel.

Activists from the Focus E15 campaign have occupied an empty property on the Carpenters Estate to highlight the mismatch between the empty homes there and Newham's growing waiting list for social housing.

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These homes need people

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Gerry Bates

The Focus E15 Mothers campaign has occupied empty property on the Carpenters estate near Stratford station.

The women started their social housing campaign last year when Newham council evicted them from a hostel for young parents and said they would have to move out of London. They won the right to take up temporary private housing tenancies but these end soon. Meanwhile large parts of housing on the Carpenters estate lies empty, and Newham council’s housing waiting list is 24,000.

The Focus E15 Mothers campaign has occupied empty property on the Carpenters estate near Stratford station.

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The Baroness Thatcher and Dame Shirley Porter

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Sean Matgamna

DAME Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress, was to Tory local government in the 1980s what Margaret Thatcher was to Tory central government - a crass, proud, ruthless, seemingly efficient, mix-it-with-the opposition defender of the sacred cause of free enterprise.

Dame Shirley ran the City of Westminster as Thatcher ran Britain. Now Lady Porter and her lieutenants are revealed in a report by the District Auditor to have run Westminster Council like a bunch of cynical ward-heeling New York political gangsters of an earlier age.

DAME Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress, was to Tory local government in the 1980s what Margaret Thatcher was to Tory central government. They ran Westminster Council like a bunch of New York political gangsters of an earlier age.

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Baroness Thatcher and Dame Shirley Porter

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Sean Matgamna

DAME Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress, was to Tory local government in the 1980s what Margaret Thatcher was to Tory central government - a crass, proud, ruthless, seemingly efficient, mix-it-with-the opposition defender of the sacred cause of free enterprise.

Dame Shirley ran the City of Westminster as Thatcher ran Britain. Now Lady Porter and her lieutenants are revealed in a report by the District Auditor to have run Westminster Council like a bunch of cynical ward-heeling New York political gangsters of an earlier age.

DAME Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress, was to Tory local government in the 1980s what Margaret Thatcher was to Tory central government. They ran Westminster Council like a bunch of New York political gangsters of an earlier age.

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Tenant evictions reach record high

The number of tenants being evicted has reached its highest level for over a decade.

According to the Ministry of Justice, between January and March this year, landlords made 47,220 court claims to repossess property — and average of over 500 repossession claims a day.

The rise in evictions comes from welfare cuts, housing shortages and stagnant wages.

The Bedroom Tax, which docks housing benefit for those with a spare bedroom is also responsible.

The number of tenants being evicted has reached its highest level for over a decade.

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The great housing disaster

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford and the author of many works on issues of social inequality. His latest work is All that is Solid: the Great Housing Disaster. Cathy Nugent spoke to him a few days before the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned bankers and the government to bring rising house prices in London and the south-east under control, or risk another crash.

An interview with Danny Dorling about his latest book, All that is Solid: the Great Housing Disaster.

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Private tenants get organised

On 30 April I attended a Waltham Forest Trades Council meeting on London’s housing crisis.

Rosie Walker from Waltham Forest Renters, a private tenants’ group organising against landlords, spoke about the need for rent stabilisation and longer, more secure tenancies.

WFR also demands the licensing of landlords and the curbing of “buy-to-let”. And Walker called for the abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.

Private tenants’ groups have sprung up in several London boroughs demanding laws that curb the power of landlords and fighting for good, affordable housing for all.

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