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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 August 2016

Axe the Housing Act: 'We can't pay, we'll organise and we'll stay'

Axe the Housing Act! Photo James Ivens

Axe the Housing Act! Photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

The housing crisis continues to deepen under this rotten Tory government. Many renters are now shelling out over half their net income to private landlords. But despite the acute shortage of affordable housing, Teresa May's ministers are pursuing a vicious campaign against social housing tenants. This is on top of the Tories' vindictive 'bedroom tax'.

The 2016 Housing Act - along with extending the 'right to buy' to housing association homes, which will benefit private landlords - will force council and housing association tenants to pay market rents if their household income is over 30,000 a year (40,000 in London). This 'pay to stay' will affect over 10% of tenants, forcing many into rent arrears with the dreadful prospect of eviction from their homes.

It is due to start in April 2017 but the government has still to publish the regulations. However, in advance of this, and despite Jeremy Corbyn's opposition to 'pay to stay', Labour-run Greenwich council in south London has written to its 22,000 council and social housing tenants telling them it will be implementing this Tory measure.

One outraged tenant, who is also an active trade unionist, told the Socialist: "The local Labour dominated council, after years of attacking its own workforce with cuts, privatisation and low pay has now embarked on another phase of the capitalist, Tory plan to destroy the lives of working class people... What is needed now is for every worker and tenant to unite and fight back."

And Greenwich tenants are fighting back under the slogan of 'we can't pay, we'll organise and we'll stay'. When the increases come through people should join a mass campaign of non-payment and resist moves to evict people from their homes. The campaign aims to mobilise local council and housing association tenants, alongside trade unionists, to fight for council housing in Greenwich with affordable rents.

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In The Socialist 10 August 2016:


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Related links:

Housing:

triangleRonan Point disaster 50 years on

triangleYoung people trapped in private rental

triangleWirral Socialist Party: A socialist housing policy

triangleYoung people need homes

triangleLondon tenants and workers protest against social housing auction

Pay:

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triangleRoyal wedding opulence... during longest pay squeeze in 200 years

triangleStrike at Tesco Dagenham for better pay

trianglePCS conference 2018: building on the union's militant record

Council:

triangleSave Southall Town Hall legal hearing success

triangleMay 3 elections: the TUSC results report

triangleObituary: Tony Byrne 1939 - 2018

Tenants:

triangleSweden: Socialist elected leader of 77,000-strong tenants' union

triangleButterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

Homes:

triangleWalthamstow Save Our Square protesters thrown out of city hall for demanding a say

Greenwich:

triangleNo to the Woolwich monster block

Rents:

triangleRent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

Privatisation:

triangleWindrush: Whitehall demo shames Tories and Blairites

Government:

triangleMay 1968: Revolutionary explosion as two thirds of workforce join strike

London:

triangleSave Our Square takes fight to developers

Labour:

triangleAntisemitism, Israel-Palestine, & the left

Unite:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Bedroom tax:

triangleThem & us

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