Update – 6 months on, still plenty to fight for

Hands Off Our Homes – Resist the Bedroom Tax
Autumn 2013 Update

logo1Hands Off Our Homes have been fighting the bedroom tax in Leeds. The policy is now 6 months old and the campaign against it has come a long way but there is still much to do. This is an update on how we can beat the Bedroom Tax TOGETHER.

Hands Off Our Homes has been fighting the Bedroom Tax in Leeds by:

  • Informing tenants about their rights and supporting tenants to organise against the policy.
  • Demanding that Leeds City Council refuse to implement the policy – write off rent arrears, no eviction.
  • Demanding that the Council and housing providers build and buy more social housing in Leeds.

What have we done?

  • Held stalls and public meetings all over Leeds
  • Held a huge march against the Bedroom Tax in April – over 1000 people
  • Lobbied councillors alongside tenants and others
  • Made our demands at a full meeting of Leeds City Council
  • Gained lots of coverage in the local and national media
  • Provided information and support to bedroom tax victims on their legal rights

THE TIDE IS TURNING

Angry tenants and campaigners are coming together in towns and cities up and down the country to demand the abolition of the bedroom tax. A United Nations expert on Housing recently visited the UK spoke out strongly against the policy. A clear majority of the public want it scrapped. Research showing the devastating impacts of the tax has been widely reported in the press. The Liberal Democrats – part of the current government – voted against it at their annual conference. And after months of pressure from campaigners, the Labour Party has finally announced that it will repeal the bedroom tax if it wins the next election. That’s down to us. But we can do more.

We CAN and WILL win this campaign – but there is still work to do

Leeds City Council recently failed to pass a ‘no evictions’ policy, seemingly content to wait for an election in 2015 which “might” result in a Labour government ending the policy. In the meantime, we continue to hear stories from our friends, neighbours and other tenants about how their mental and physical health is suffering from the anxiety of this policy and other welfare cuts. The council would like to think that these are ‘exceptional cases’ and most people can move. We say:

THESE ARE NOT EXCEPTIONAL CASES!    THESE ARE NOT SPARE ROOMS!      TENANTS HAVE A RIGHT TO THEIR HOMES!

THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE – AND WE NEED YOU!

We must keep the pressure up. We can see the Bedroom Tax crumbling but now is not the time to stop. We must act together to fight this policy and support those affected. We have reached and given support to many in Leeds who are affected but these are still 1000s more who need help.

You can help by:

  • Liking our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HandsOffOurHomes)  and sharing updates.
  • Talking to your neighbours and friends, finding out who is affected by the Bedroom Tax and make sure they know about the campaign and the legal advice (on the other sheet). 
  • Leave a pile of leaflets in your local pub, cafe, community centre or other – contact us for copies
  • Holding a stall in your area and talk to affected tenants – we can help, please contact us
  • Holding a public meeting in your local area to discuss what you are going to do together – we can help, please contact us
  • If you can think of any other ways to help or want to be come to organising meetings – we can help, please contact us

We don’t expect you to do everything on this list but if you can do one or two things YOU will make the difference!

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