Our housing and benefits campaign summit – entitled “Where Will We All LIve?”- is this Saturday, 25th March. It’s at Oxford Chambers, Oxford Place Leeds LS1 3AU, from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Free, tea/coffee provided; the venue is wheelchair accessible.
Please share the Facebook event and join up if possible – https://www.facebook.com/events/330947760640076/
The link to the flyer is https://1drv.ms/b/s!AoXg_zk3fZjJkStQxKtslI-SPdCB
Do come along if you possibly can, and encourage everyone you can think of – friends, neighbours and family, workmates, union members, members of faith groups, community groups and political parties etc. We would still like to hear more from tenants and claimants, and from people who work in housing-related areas, eg for a council or housing association or with service-users for whom housing (or lack of it) is an issue.
Last year’s Housing and Planning Bill was a huge attack on social housing and tenants, and the current Housing White Paper makes clear that the government’s ultimate goal is for all housing – whether for private ownership or for rent – to be provided on a private business model, with housing at genuine social rents hardly getting a look-in. There is no move to controlling private rents, most private tenancies will remain on short-term contracts, and home-ownership will remain unaffordable.
With a swathe of deep benefit cuts affecting both households on low wages and receiving tax credits, and those who are unable to work due to sickness or care of young children, the lack of genuinely affordable homes is pushing many thousands into dangerous levels of poverty. Young adults, single parent families and people with long-term illness or disabilities will be amongst those at risk of eviction, or locked out of housing altogether as private and social landlords turn then away because they are unlikely to be able to pay their rent.
On Saturday we’ll explore these issues in more detail, also inviting anyone personally affected or working in a housing-related role to speak. There’ll be time for questions, discussion and informal chat over tea/coffee, and in the afternoon a session devoted to action-planning. We hope this will be more than just tossing ideas around, and that people will make a start on organising things, be it lobbying, media work, supporting tenants and claimants or doing high-profile actions of some kind.
Here’s the Facebook event again https://www.facebook.com/events/330947760640076/
Finally, here’s news of another housing related event we’ve been asked to pass on – a presentation and discussion of self-build and custom-build housing, led by a range of people with skills and experience in practical self-build and community projects. This is a small (currently) but significant part of Leeds’ approach to affordable housing, and an important source of innovation, for example in sustainability. It’s on Thursday 23rd March (sorry for the short notice) at the West Indian Centre, 10 Laycock Place, LS7 3JA (off Chapeltown Road). Do look at the flyer (attached) and get along if you can.