Socialist Worker

Marchers call for defiance of the Tories’ Housing Act

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2509

On the Axe the Housing Act march last Saturday

On the Axe the Housing Act march last Saturday (Pic: Dean Ryan)


Some 500 people marched in London last Saturday to demand the Tories scrap their poisonous Housing and Planning Act.

The act is an ideological assault on council and social housing. The Tories want to redefine what social housing means so that only the most vulnerable can access it, and only for a limited time.

Jan Sweeney from West Kensington and Chelsea told Socialist Worker, “The council leader Nick Pagett-Brown thinks that social housing is only for those in the most dire need. Kensington and Chelsea council hates social housing.”

But councillors from Camden, Southwark and other areas attended the demonstration, demanding the government abandon the act.

Richard Livingstone from Southwark council spoke about the need to unite to defeat the Act.

But people also heckled him over Southwark council’s disgraceful role in the redevelopment of the Heygate estate. This saw the majority of tenants forced out despite the council promising to rehouse them.

Pat Callaghan, lead councillor for housing in Camden, told Socialist Worker, “Unless we unite across London and across the country we’re not going to beat the act. We need to come onto the streets.”

There is just under a year before the Housing and Planning Act is implemented. There is no time to be wasted in building the organisation that can block it.

By putting councils under political pressure to make a stand, and fighting against them when they don’t, the act can be defeated.

The march said clearly that refugees and migrants are not to blame for the housing crisis.

Go to bit.ly/1tvnIad for more information about the Axe the Housing Act campaign

Stop the demolitions in Tottenham

Haringey council and Tottenham football club in north London plan a major redevelopment of the area around the club’s White Hart Lane ground.

Large areas of housing and communal areas are set to be demolished. Activists from Haringey Defend Council Housing met last week to oppose the scheme.

Pam from the Cressingham Gardens campaign in south London told Socialist Worker, “I’m shocked by the lack of information the council has released. How are residents supposed to make an informed decision?”

Paul Hodges from Tottenham Labour Party said, “I asked the leader of Haringey council to give me a guarantee that there are going to be council tenancies after the redevelopment. She said she couldn’t give me that guarantee.”

Residents and tenants from Northumberland Park estate where there are 2,000 people, including 1,125 council tenants under threat, discussed how to fight back.

Lynn Silver Markell said, “We should have a statement signed by everyone on the estate saying ‘I want to stay’. We should have posters in everyone’s window.”

Haringey council and Tottenham football club in north London plan a major redevelopment of the area around the club’s White Hart Lane ground.

Large areas of housing and communal areas are set to be demolished. Activists from Haringey Defend Council Housing met last week to oppose the scheme.

Pam from the Cressingham Gardens campaign in south London told Socialist Worker, “I’m shocked by the lack of information the council has released. How are residents supposed to make an informed decision?”

Paul Hodges from Tottenham Labour Party said, “I asked the leader of Haringey council to give me a guarantee that there are going to be council tenancies after the redevelopment. She said she couldn’t give me that guarantee.”

Residents and tenants from Northumberland Park estate where there are 2,000 people, including 1,125 council tenants under threat, discussed how to fight back.

Lynn Silver Markell said, “We should have a statement signed by everyone on the estate saying ‘I want to stay’. We should have posters in everyone’s window.”

 


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