Thousands join march to oppose 'attack on council house tenants'

Mark Brown mark at
Mon Mar 14 21:04:46 GMT 2016

Housing Bill protest: Thousands join march to oppose 'attack on council house
by Jamie Bullen
The London Evening Standard
Sunday 13 March 2016
(click on url of article source for video and photos)

Thousands of people marched through central London today to oppose the
Government’s Housing Bill.

Demonstrators descended on Parliament Square to oppose the proposed bill which
they claim is an attack on council house tenants.

The bill requires councils to change how they charge tenants with a combined
income of more than £30,000 outside of London and £40,000 in the capital. Under
the so-called "pay to stay" measures, tenants will be charged the same level as
the private rent sector, which protesters say could force thousands of people
from their homes.

The Government claim the bill is designed to turn “generation rent into
generation buy” but critics say it will mean rent and house prices will become

Protesters carried banners and placards reading “Anti-social housing policy from
the House of Ill Repute", "Kill the Housing Bill" and "You're heartless, We're
Homeless" as they passed the Houses of Parliament.

Labour MP Diane Abbott, who joined protesters, said: “It is very important to
fight this bill because this bill will kill communities and council estates all
over the country.

“This bill is a particular threat to London. The stipulation that if you earn
over £40,000 a year your rent will go up is a big threat to families where more
than one person works.”

The MP previously tweeted: “Tories determined to smash social housing & socially
cleanse big cities like London."

Among the demonstrators taking part in today protest were Focus E15, a housing
campaign of mothers from Newham and Sisters Uncut.

A Focus E15 spokeswoman said: “We will be demonstrating against the Housing Bill
this Sunday because this Bill is the worst attack on social housing we’ve seen.

“It will result in the private sale of up to 100% of council houses, and raise
rents through “pay to stay”, forcing thousands from their homes and out of

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "More
council housing has been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years.

"The Housing Bill makes sure we make the best use of social housing based on
need and income, while reinvesting in building new homes.

"Furthermore we have set out the biggest, boldest and most ambitious plan for
housing in a generation, including £8 billion to deliver over 400,000 affordable

Photos of TLIO banner on the march at:

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