Socialist Worker

Campaigners step up the fight against the Tory Housing Bill

by Eileen Short
Issue No. 2498

Protesting in Waltham Forest last week

Protesting in Waltham Forest last week (Pic: Socialist Worker)

The Kill the Housing Bill campaign is taking confidence from Tory ministers’ defeats on Personal Independence Payments. The housing bill is uniting opposition against its threat to end state support for sub-market homes for rent, sell off council homes on the open market, push up rents through "Pay to Stay", encourage large scale demolition of estates and fail to control private rents or improve security .   

Campaign lobbying has stiffened resistance in the House of Lords. The Lords look likely to inflict damage on the Bill which could force more Tory concessions.

On  Friday 15 April a "sleep out" protest outside town halls and housing offices will highlight how the Housing Bill threatens more homelessness. Several areas have plans to protest with councillors, MPs, trade unions and homeless groups against the bill. The Bishop of Stepney is joining the protest outside housing offices in Roman Road, East London. 

The sleep out will help build for the People's Assembly March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education. A  Housing bloc will assemble 12.30 at the Gower Street assembly point with the Kill the Housing Bill banner. 

A protest lobby and meeting at Parliament on 11 May will include a protest 12-2pm and a meeting 3-7pm with campaigners putting our case to Lords and MPs. Trade unions, councillors and campaigners should contact tenant groups around the country and  encourage them to come to parliament to show the spread of opposition and help widen the campaign to new areas.

And following the brilliant 10,000-strong demonstation on 13 March, 18 June is the date for a second Kill the Housing Bill in London.  The next campaign organising meetings are 18 April, 6.30pm and 30 April,11am.

More information including a briefing, a model motion for trade unions, and a campaign motion from [email protected] and or email [email protected]


Butterfields tenants need solidarity to beat landlords

Around 60 Butterfields estate tenants and their supporters marched through Walthamstow, north east London, last Saturday.

They are facing eviction after the Glasspool Trust charity sold off their homes to private company Butterfields E17 Ltd.

It is already issuing tenants with notices to quit their homes. Tenant Rashid said, “The landlord sent me a letter telling me to get out.

“I said no, ‘I will never give you the key’. They have put the houses up for auction while people are still inside so I am not going to move, I’ll take it to court.”

Nicole Holgate, secretary of the Butterfields Won’t Budge campaign, said, “This is an urgent time. Residents will start receiving court summons soon so we need to raise money for their cases.”

Alistair Farrow

A 70-strong crowd joined a rally against the Housing Bill outside Sheffield Town Hall last Friday.

Labour MP Clive Betts described the devastating impact the bill would have.

Shirley Frost, a local tenant, called on Sheffield’s 40,000 tenants, trade unionists and councillors to fight it to the end.



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