Socialist Worker

How bedroom tax campaigners have beaten back evictions

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2387

Campaigner Fran Postlethwaite

Campaigner Fran Postlethwaite (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Court proceedings and eviction threats are currently a major focus for many local campaigns. 

Protests are planned outside courts in both Manchester and Bolton over the next few weeks. 

Mark Krantz from Manchester spoke about the importance of public campaigning in defeating a series of eviction attempts in Manchester.

“We should have political confidence,” he said.

“A notice to seek possession is only the beginning of a long process and actually evicting someone is another matter. 

“We haven’t had it come to the bailiffs yet.”

Where people have campaigned against evictions they have been successful. 

Campaigners in Glasgow swiftly reversed the eviction of a tenant hit by the bedroom tax in November last year.

Supporters mobilised to defend the woman’s home and lobbied the housing association’s meeting.

At the Benefit Justice Federation meeting, campaigners reported that most people who get to court to contest notices to seek possession have been able to get them suspended.

For example they can do this while they apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

But with the bedroom tax affecting thousands of isolated people, the challenge is finding them. 

Some groups had encountered people who had already been locked out of their homes without even having heard of DHP.

“There are thousands of people in Barnsley who are bloody terrified,” said Barnsley anti bedroom  tax campaigner Fran Postlethwaite. 

“Anything that looks like a bill they put straight in the bin.

 “If we are to help them we have to be public, visible, on the streets campaigning.”

 


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