Housing

500 prevent eviction

Author: 

Tim Cooper

On Friday 23 January a 500-strong demonstration stopped the eviction of 63 year old Tom Crawford from his home in Nottingham.

Tom was due to be evicted by bailiffs acting on behalf of Bradford and Bingley building society who claim he owes them £45,000.

Tom is suffering from cancer and when faced with eviction last year put a video on YouTube saying he would give a cup of tea to anyone who came to help avoid his eviction. It struck a chord went viral and hundreds turned up to stop the eviction.

A 500-strong demonstration has stopped the eviction of a 63 year old man from his home in Nottingham.

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Rent-controlled housing for all!

Author: 

Gemma Short and Hannah Webb

Over 635,000 homes in England are empty. For every family in need of a home there are 10 empty houses.

Over 200,000 homes have been empty for more than six months.

In September 2014 the number of families placed in temporary accommodation was over 60,000, the highest it has been in five years. The number of people who are homeless or in precarious housing situations is likely to be much higher. London, where there is a boom in house building, accounts for 75% of the increase in homelessness.

Councils should build and renovate housing stock themselves and create jobs and homes; take social housing stock back into council control from housing associations and arms length organisations; stop aiding the profiteering of private property developers; control rents!

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March for homes!

On 31 January, marchers from South and East London will converge on City Hall to demand better homes for Londoners and an end to the housing crisis.

The action, called by Defend Council Housing, South London People’s Assembly, Focus E15 campaign and Unite Housing Workers branch and others, has published a list of demands:

• Control rents

• Hands off council housing

• Stop demolition of quality council homes

• Affordable and secure homes for all

• Cut rents not benefits

• No scapegoating immigrants

• No racist landlord checks

On 31 January, marchers from South and East London will converge on City Hall to demand better homes for Londoners and an end to the housing crisis.

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New Era housing victory

Author: 

Beth Redmond

After months of campaigning, the New Era housing campaign in East London won its battle against eviction shortly before Christmas.

Westbrook Partners, a US investment firm worth $11bn, bought the entire estate in March 2014 from First LBS Holdings. It is a big part of a wider trend of investors using homes merely as catalysts for financial gain, with no consideration to those who need somewhere affordable to live.

After months of campaigning, the New Era housing campaign in East London won its battle against eviction shortly before Christmas.

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Fight for the private renters!

Author: 

Matt Cooper

There were only muted howls of anger from the rich who lost most from the changes to stamp duty on house sales in George Osborne’s Autumn statement.

That’s because those who will be paying an extra £163,750 on their £5 million house can afford it and they realise that this is a bid by the party of the rich to cling onto power in next year’s general election.

After years of growth in home ownership, the numbers able to afford to buy are in decline,; many people are reliant on private rentals. The 2011 census showed that the number living in private rented accommodation had increased by 69% since 2001, while the proportion in mortgaged homes has declined by 15 per cent. It is mainly younger people, many with families, who are priced out of the property market.

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Stop landlord rip-offs:control rents!

Author: 

Colin Foster

The tenants’ campaign on the New Era estate in Hoxton, east London, has spotlighted the rise of a fight back by private tenants.

“When our estate was bought by new owners”, say the New Era tenants, “we were given rent rises of 10% and told to expect greater rises next year, as the new owners wanted rents to be at ‘market levels’. In Hoxton... this means over £500 a week”.

Current rents are about £160 a week, so most tenants face being forced out of their homes.

Three trends have come together.

The tenants’ campaign on the New Era estate in Hoxton, east London, has spotlighted the rise of a fight back by private tenants.

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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

Author: 

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

Author: 

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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