Housing

Landlords to be border cops

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

Renting rules introduced under Right to Rent at the beginning of February mean that landlords who let property in England will have to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration statuses to establish whether they have the right to be in the UK.

Landlords who let property in England will have to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration statuses to establish whether they have the right to be in the UK.

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Two wins against bedroom tax

Author: 

Dave Kirk

Two victories have been won in the Court of Appeal against the bedroom tax.

A woman who was a survivor of abuse from her ex-partner and had a panic room fitted by the police, and was then forced to pay the bedroom tax on it, won her case; so did Sue and Paul Rutherford, taxed for the spare room used to store equipment for their disabled grandson and to allow carers to stay over.

Two victories have been won in the Court of Appeal against the bedroom tax.

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Tory housing scandal

Author: 

Miles Kerin

On Tuesday 12 January, a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have ensured that all rented accommodation was suitable for living in, was defeated in the House of Commons by 312 votes to 219.

Local Government Minister, Marcus Jones, said the amendment would cause “unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords”. Tories don’t think landlords should be obliged to repair mouldy, damaged, unsafe or otherwise unsuitable housing.

A Labour amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have ensured that all rented accommodation was suitable for living in, was defeated in the House of Commons by 312 votes to 219.

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Fight to save social housing

Author: 

Jim Fraser

With the Housing Bill, and various associated ancillary legislation, the Tories have launched an all-out offensive to destroy social housing, especially council housing, once and for all.

With the Housing Bill, the Tories have launched an all-out offensive to destroy social housing, especially council housing, once and for all.

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Court victory for council estate

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By Mike Krane

On 24 November 2015, the High Court ruled in favour of the residents of the Cressingham Gardens Estate in Lambeth.

The court found the council offered insufficient proof that refurbishment rather than demolition would be too expensive, and forcing the council to reopen the consultation process.

Lambeth Council has saying since 2012 that it doesn’t have the money to make basic repairs and it would be cheaper to “redevelop” the estate’s 300 homes.

Cressingham Gardens, Lambeth saved from demolition

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Gentrificiation for all

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The capitalist housing market predominantly separates “nice” areas from “rough” areas. In the “nice” areas, people pay higher prices; bigger and posher houses and better shops and amenities and transport facilities are built. In the “rough” areas, only cheap and poor-quality housing is built; shops, amenities, and transport remain poor.

Our enemy is not better-off workers, or middle-class people, even snooty and annoying ones, and the answer is not to cordon off such people into homogeneously posh areas. The enemy is capital.

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Free Education: how will we win?

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

The u-turn on South African tuition fees gives us reason to be in good spirits as the UK student movement mobilises and sets outs its demands for a free, fully-funded, accessible education system.

With the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) national demonstration for free education and living grants on 4 November and the NUS-called student walk-out on 17 November, it’s worth asking: how will we win?

With the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts national demonstration for free education and living grants on 4 November and the NUS-called student walk-out on 17 November, it’s worth asking: how will we win?

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Tories in tangle over tax credits

Author: 

Matthew Thompson

Chancellor George Osborne looks set to go ahead with cuts to tax credits which will see the income of low-paid workers drop by an average of £1,300 next April, despite opposition from Tory backbenchers and voters such as the woman who confronted a Government minister over the issue on BBC TV's Question Time. The changes to tax credits would save around £4.4 billion, or just over a third of the £12 billion the Treasury is seeking to cut from the welfare budget.

Chancellor George Osborne looks set to go ahead with cuts to tax credits which will see the income of low-paid workers drop by an average of £1,300 next April, despite opposition from Tory backbenchers and voters.

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A new kind of uniformity

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

The attack by Class War on the Cereal Killer shop in Shoreditch has been rightly condemned as self-indulgent, misguided and ineffective in articles by Gemma Short and Martin Thomas in Solidarity.

Martin has gone further by writing — under the heading “The enemy is capital!” — to give a generally favourable view of gentrification in its impact on working-class communities in London. Where it causes their displacement, it can be resisted, he glibly asserts.

Short of a large slump in the property market or radical political intervention, market-led gentrification is difficult to reverse as it is a molecular and self-perpetuating process. It is not possible just to reach the optimum level of upward regeneration and then stop.

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Scottish tenants win rent controls

Author: 

Gordon Maloney

Last month Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish Government’s 2015-16 programme of government. In it, on the back of an enormous campaigning and lobbying effort by the Living Rent Campaign, was a commitment to introduce provisions for rent controls.

Further, the First Minister outlined plans to scrap short-assured tenancies and the no-fault grounds for eviction. These laws, introduced by Thatcher in the eighties, meant tenants in Scotland have some of the worst protections from eviction and least secure leases anywhere in Europe.

The Scottish Government’s 2015-16 programme includes, on the back of an enormous campaigning and lobbying effort by the Living Rent Campaign, a commitment to introduce rent controls.

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