Government is pushing a Housing Bill that means higher rents, less security, and less chance of a home that members can afford says GMB.
GMB will join housing tenants and other trade unionists at a meeting in the House of Lords on Tuesday 2nd February to brief members of the Upper House on how the Housing Bill, now in the Lords, will undermine the existence and future of council housing.
The second reading of the Housing Bill took place in the House of Lords on Tuesday 26th January and the Committee stage in the Lords has yet to be scheduled.
This meeting follows a previous GMB protest and lobby of Parliament that took place on 5th January when MPs debated the Report Stage of the Housing Bill. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB press release dated 4th January.
The meeting will take place in Room 4a from 5pm Tuesday 2nd February at the House of Lords.
As part of the campaign against the Housing Bill there will be a Northern 'summit' for tenants, trade unions and councillors on 12th March from 3:30pm to 8:30pm at Cosmopolitan Hotel, Lower Briggate, Leeds.
GMB members will also join a national march against the Bill on 13th March which will assemble from 12:00 noon at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3TL.
Gary Doolan, GMB Political Officer said “GMB is inviting members of the Lords to this meeting to hear the case against the Bill.
We will explain to the Lords how the Government is pushing a Housing Bill that means higher rents, less security, and less chance of a home that members can afford.
The Bill sells off existing council homes to the highest bidder, removes secure tenancies, imposes ‘pay to stay’ market-linked rent rises for council and housing association tenants, means increased rents and longer waiting lists, reduces rights for private renters and Travellers and replaces ‘affordable’ homes for rent with ‘starter homes’ most cannot afford.
This will force people from their homes, friends and family, healthcare and networks, breaking up our communities. Millions are already forced into private renting, in damp, overcrowded housing, with no long-term security.
We need instead investment in secure and really-affordable homes and we need councils to be freed up to build more council homes.”
Contact: GMB Gary Doolan 07590 262 504 or Kamaljeet Jandu, on 07956 237178 or GMB press Office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.
Notes to editors
Copy of previous GMB press release dated 4th January 2016
GMB Protest At Parliament On 5th Jan For Report Stage Of Housing Bill On Sale Of Social Housing And Removal Of Security Of Tenure
Tory Party manifesto did not contain proposal to end security of tenure for council tenants so House of Lords must remove it says GMB
GMB members will take part in a protest and lobby of Parliament on 5th January as MPs debate the Report Stage of the Housing Bill.
The protest is part of a campaign organised by Kill the Housing Bill -secure homes for all and Architects 4 Social Housing. See notes to editors for copy of the leaflet on the protest and the list of organizations supporting the protest.
The details of the protest are as follows:
Assemble from 1pm on Tuesday 5th January,
at Old Palace Yard,
London, SW1A 0AA.
There will be speakers at the rally from 2pm. There will be meeting 5-7pm in Parliament Committee Room 11 where the case against the Housing Bill and for investment in council housing will be made.
Gary Doolan, GMB Political Officer, said “This campaign is just starting and will be the most important point in the mayoral election.
GMB members attended the planning meeting for this lobby and we are going to be turning up the gas on the whole situation on the Tory housing rip off.
The Government is making the housing crisis worse.
The Housing Bill provides for the sell-off of existing council and housing association homes – with no replacements for rent. In addition it will force the sale of council homes on the open market to pay for housing association ‘right to buy
The Bill also removes secure tenancies – a last-minute Government amendment to the Bill now threatens to remove council secure tenancies for all transferring, as well as for new tenants.
In addition the Bill will push up rents and waiting lists, takes public funding away from affordable homes for rent and, does nothing to improve security or control rents for private renters.
There was no mention in the Tory Party manifesto on the proposal to end security of tenure for council tenants. The House of Lords must remove this noxious proposal which turns the clock back. The Housing Act 1980 gave permanent tenure to both council and housing association tenants.
GMB plan after the lobby is to facilitate a London wide big meeting in central London in March to invite all tenant representatives to coordinate a major community and trade union campaign.
Finally we will be visiting hundreds of estates across London advising residents in social and high priced private sector housing on what a Labour Mayor will do to control rents and to increase the supply of affordable housing.”
Notes to editors
Copy of leaflet for protest;
The Government are making the housing crisis worse.
Their Housing Bill
• sells off existing council and housing association homes – with no replacements for rent,
• removes secure tenancies ,
• pushes up rents and waiting lists
• takes public funding away from affordable homes for rent and
• does nothing to improve security or control rents for private renters.
This is turning back the clock, taking away security and pushing up rents. It would force the selloff of council homes on the open market to pay for housing association ‘right to buy
Councils and housing associations will not be able to build replacement homes for rent.
Council or housing association households with over £30,000 income (£40,000 in London) will be forced to pay ‘full or near’ market rents.
Join the protest at Parliament on Tuesday 5th January when MPs debate the next stage of the Housing Bill.
KILL the HOUSING BILL
SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
2pm at Old Palace Yard on Tuesday 5th January (opposite Parliament) Westminster, London SW1A 0AA and come to the meeting:5pm, House of Commons committee room 11 (allow 30 minutes to get through security) with tenants, unions, traveller groups, councillors, MPs and housing campaigns
Taking public funding away from homes for rent will make things harder for the millions stuck in rip-off private renting.
Forcing people from their homes, friends and family, health care and networks, breaks up our communities.
More of us are forced into private renting, in damp, overcrowded housing, with no long term security, often in serious disrepair. This Bill will hit the poorest, most vulnerable, women fleeing violence, and cut Traveller sites and rights.
Four million people are on housing waiting lists. House prices make buying a dream most can’t ever afford. Invest in the secure and really affordable homes we need – free councils to build more council homes.
KILL the HOUSING BILL
SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
What you can do:
• Get copies of this leaflet for your neighbours, community group or union
• Send our Briefing to your MPs and councillors and demand they vote against the Housing Bill. Organise letters, lobbies, deputations
• Use leaflets, posters, stalls in town centres and on estates
• Come to Parliament on Tuesday 5th January – bring banners
• Hold local meeting with tenants, unions, councillors and campaigners
• Come to the next organising meeting on Saturday 16th January, 11am-1pm at Unite offices, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN
• Get in touch to link up with the national campaign and add your support.
KILL the HOUSING BILL SECURE HOMES FOR ALL is supported by Defend Council Housing, Camden Assembly of Tenants, Tower Hamlets, Tenants Federation, GMB, NUT-London, Teachers Housing Campaign, Camden LG, Cambridge City and other Unison branches, Unite Housing Workers, the Green Party, John McDonnell MP, London Gypsy Traveller Unit, Islington Hands Off Our Public Services, Islington Private Tenants, Kirklees Federation of Tenants & Residents Assoc (trading as Communities Who Can)
This campaign :Kill the Housing Bill – secure homes for all and support the 5th January event
Email c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 07432 098440