There’s never been a more critical time for the future of secure affordable housing, and there are two major events coming up on the weekend of 12th/13th March – first, the Regional Housing Summit (Sat 12th March), and second, the national demonstration against the Housing and Planning Bill (Sun 13th March). Read on for more details….
We are making progress in building for the Housing Summit, to be held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Leeds – to register see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/regional-housing-summit-tickets-5324212864
We have tenants, housing workers, service-providers, campaigners and trade unionists coming from Leeds, Kirklees and Calderdale, Sheffield and hopefully other parts of the Yorkshire region. We are encouraged to see that people running services, and many housing providers, are taking this very seriously, as they know the future of their services is under threat if government policies on rents and benefits are implemented. There is still a long way to go, though – for example, we need stronger trade union involvement; not just because jobs are going to go in the social housing sector and in organisations providing all kinds of residentially-based support, but because their members too need homes they can afford; they need to know that supported accommodation and services will be there for themselves and their families when they need them.
You can read more about the issues we’ll be discussing in our previous blogposts here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/regional-housing-summit-tickets-5324212864 and here https://handsoffourhomes.org.uk/2016/01/08/urgent-tell-your-mp-to-oppose-the-housing-and-planning-bill/
Most importantly, PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE HOUSING SUMMIT on 12th March at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Leeds – register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/regional-housing-summit-tickets-5324212864 – share, and get your neighbours, colleagues, trade union branches and councillors to do the same.
NATIONAL DEMO AGAINST THE HOUSING AND PLANNING BILL
This will take place in London on Sunday 13th March. The Housing and Planning Bill is currently in the committee stage in the Lords, and tenants and campaigners from around the country have already met with Lords to present their concerns – see here for some of the evidence presented http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/resources/KtHBLordsevidence20216.pdf
The Facebook page for the national campaign against the Housing Bill is here https://www.facebook.com/Kill-the-Housing-Bill-secure-homes-for-all-1535565046764103/?fref=ts
and the Facebook page for the demo is here https://www.facebook.com/events/973999866019425/
OTHER NEWS – WE NEED A PEOPLE’S BUDGET CONFERENCE
On Saturday 20th February, Hands Off Our Homes will be participating in a conference to launch a campaign for a “People’s Budget” – and alternative to cuts-based budget-setting by local authorities. The conference is hosted by Unite Community and Youth Fight for Jobs, and will happen between 11am and 3pm at Ebor Court, Skinner Street, LS1 4ND (not far from city station. The organisers have this to say:
“Local services provided by the council are being hit hard by the cuts. Thousands of jobs have been lost over the last five years, with vital services including care homes, day centres, the Leeds Crisis Centre and more being closed. With the latest announcements from the government of further cuts, we know more is to follow.
But it is not true that there is no alternative, or that to resist the cuts can only mean setting an illegal budget. Councils have legal powers that can be used.
Join us to discuss how we can build a movement to push our councillors into action to defend our jobs and services.”
The Facebook event is here https://www.facebook.com/events/1686920911522595/
HANDS OFF OUR HOMES ORGANISING
Our monthly meetings are continuing as usual on the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm at the UNISON offices on Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Fenton pub and near the universities. In the run-up to the Summit we are having extra meetings – please get in touch if you can help in any way. We’ll need people to help with stalls and leafletting between now and then, to help with practical tasks on the day, and also to help with stuff like press releases and other outreach and publicity if anyone can offer time for that.