The March for Homes, London 31.01.15

mark mark mark at
Thu Jan 15 10:49:52 GMT 2015

The March for Homes
March to City Hall, London
Assemble Saturday 31st January 12 midday

Taken from Morning Star (Sat 10/01/2015): 
Nobody doubts we have a desperate housing crisis. Even the Tories recognise that
years of underinvestment have left millions unable to find and keep a decent
home they can afford.

When politicians ask for our votes on May 7, we must ask them what they are
going to do about it.  Housing hasn't been a key election issue since 1979 when
Margaret Thatcher campaigned on the policy that has done so much damage since -
Right to Buy.  In recent elections, housing has been reduced to the margins
while the underlying causes of the crisis have accumulated.

The labour and trade union movement must make sure this doesn't happen in 2015.
That's why tenant organisations, trade unions and housing campaigners are coming
together on the March for Homes.  

The demonstration was originally called by Southwark Defend Council Housing and
the South London People's Assembly, but has since received support from over 50
organisations across London, including the Unite housing workers branch, Bectu,
Generation Rent, Disabled People Against Cuts and the inspirational New Era and
Focus E15 campaigns. Individuals who have added their names include Jeremy
Corbyn MP, Ken Loach, Diane Abbot MP, Steve Murphy (UCATT), Rebecca Winson (GMB
Young London) and Heather Wakefield (Unison).

The March for Homes will start at noon on Saturday 31 January from St Mary's
Churchyard, Newington Butts, London SE1 6SQ (near Elephant & Castle Tube
Station) and also from Shoreditch Church, Shoreditch High Street in East London,
marching from both locations to City Hall. 

East: Shoreditch Church 
Assemble Shoreditch Church, Shoreditch High Street E1 6JN (tube/rail Shoreditch
High Street)
The East London march is led by community campaigns from across the area
including Focus E15. The route is from Shoreditch via Brick Lane to the Mayor’s
Office at City Hall. 
click here for map:,-0.0776429,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x8a30daa895dd6b78

South: Elephant & Castle
Assemble St Maryʼs Churchyard, Elephant & Castle SE1 6SQ (tube/rail Elephant &
click here for map:,-0.1016154,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x487604989bd85245:0x6c805d352100ca8?hl=en

Invite others! For the Facebook event

Accessible short march assembly point 1.30pm Potters Field St SE1 2AA (tube/rail
London Bridge) click here for map

Invite others! For the Facebook event

What We Want (Demands)
We demand to solve the Housing Crisis

Rent Controls

Hands off council housing

Stop demolition of quality council homes

Affordable and secure homes for all

Cut rents not Benefits

End Bedroom Tax and welfare caps

Build new council houses


Rent control
Rents for all tenures are out of control. In the unregulated private rented
sector, they’ve risen by 13 per cent a year since 2010 and tenants spend an
average of 40 per cent of their income on rent.

The introduction of so-called “affordable rents” by the government will push up
rents to 80 per cent of the market level for some council and housing
association tenants.

Not surprisingly, the housing benefit bill is expected to reach £25 billion by
2017, but 40 per cent of claimants are in work.

Forty per cent of housing benefit ends up in the pockets of private landlords,
at a cost of £9.5bn.

An end to the demolition of good-quality council homes
Across London, scores of council estates are facing profit-driven redevelopment
that will reduce the number of council homes and replace them with expensive
private apartments.

Established communities are in danger of being destroyed because people can’t
afford to live in them.

Scrapping the bedroom tax and benefit caps
The cynical Con-Dem government has tried to blame the housing crisis on poor
social housing tenants, including people with disabilities.

But the hated bedroom tax is a failed policy. It costs more to collect than it
raises and has done nothing to increase the supply of homes.

A national programme of council housebuilding
The real reason we have a housing crisis is that councils have been stopped from
building homes and housing associations haven’t filled the gap.

In 1970, 350,000 homes were built in the UK, split almost evenly between
councils and the private sector, with a tiny number built by housing

By 2014 the number of homes completed had fallen by two-thirds, almost all of
them built by private developers, only a quarter by housing associations and
virtually none by councils.

Secure tenancies for all
As well as pushing up rents, the government is deliberately weakening the legal
rights for social housing tenants by introducing fixed-term tenancies.

Meanwhile, private-sector tenants face the possibility of eviction every six

Short-term tenancies allow slumlords to profiteer and get rid of tenants who
demand repairs they’re entitled to.

High turnover also damages our communities, while the housing crisis stokes the
bigotry Ukip feeds on.

Decent pay and conditions for housing and care workers
As in other sectors, the creeping privatisation of housing has been accompanied
by attacks on workers’ pay and conditions. This is bad for workers and the
services they provide.

The strike at St Mungo’s Broadway last year shows that determined action can
win, but it is essential that workers and tenants unite to fight the cuts.

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