This is a reminder that the next Hands Off Our Homes organising meeting is next Wednesday, 6th April, at 7pm at the UNISON offices, 160a Woodhouse Lane, LS2 9EN (opposite the Fenton pub). Following the excellent turn-out at the Summit, we hope that lots of you will come and help plan our next moves.
In the meantime, there’s a rally against the Housing Bill in Sheffield this Friday, April 1st, at 5.30pm on the Town Hall steps (S1 2HH). It’s not certain yet whether any of the Leeds group can make it, but trains from Leeds to Sheffield are frequent and the cost may be within your means, so do get along and join our Sheffield comrades if possible.
This Saturday, April 1st, John Davies of HOOH will be lobbying Chapel Allerton (Leeds) councillors – it will probably be Cllr Jane Dowson – at 11.15 at Chapel Allerton library. If you live in the Chapel Allerton/Chapeltown ward, please come along. Email or phone us if you need more info or to let us know you are coming – otherwise just turn up. (
, phone/text 07504017322
unless otherwise stated)
Don’t forget to let us know if you would like help to organise a group lobby of your own councillor – of course you can do this on your own but it’s always a good thing to go as a group if you can. You can find details of your own councillors and the times of their surgeries here
. One of our demands is that the council should write to all residents and hold public meetings, explaining clearly the implications of the Housing and Planning Bill for Leeds and the likely impact of Housing Benefit cuts such as the overall Household Benefit Cap; also, their plans for developing and defending social housing and for protecting tenants unable to pay their rent because of benefit cuts!
And it’s still worth lobbying your MP about the Housing and Planning Bill – you can find the details of their surgeries, email addresses and office phones online, and you can also email them via this site
The Bill is having a rough ride in the Lords, and public pressure could make a real difference to what happens next.
We have made a new flyer with a summary of the Housing and Planning Bill and the various housing benefit cuts, and we hope you will help by distributing some of these in your neighbourhood, workplace, trade union branch or other group/organisation. To collect or get some delivered, call/text 07930966205
. Also, if you can spare any time to help with a stall or with some leafleting/door-knocking, call or text the same number or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking a bit further ahead, a friend of HOOH is organising a sleep-out on Friday 15th April as part of the international day of action against homelessness. The focus is on street homelessness, which has doubled over the last 5 years, mainly as a result of benefit cuts and sanctions, high private-sector rents and insecure private tenancies. The Facebook event is here
– current plans are to meet in front of Leeds Town Hall at 4pm.
And our next big venture – a public meeting in Middleton, date and time to be confirmed, but it may well be on Thursday 5th May (council election day) at St Cross Church on Middleton Park Avenue LS10 4HT. Watch this space for more details. Whatever the precise date, we’ll need all the help we can get to publicise it in the area through stalls, leafleting and door-knocking. Please let us know if you can spare any time, especially on Saturdays but we could do other times too. Of course, if you live in or have connections with Middleton, we’d like to hear from you.
We leave you with an interesting article about the Housing Bill based on Quintin Bradley’s talk at a housing conference on 5th March – it was a longer version of the talk he gave at the Summit, and the slides he presented at the conference are here too. article slide show