Posts Tagged ‘council housing’

As well as having a protest outside the council meeting on 20th November we also sent a delegation inside. Pilgrim Tucker from Unite Community read the following statement. It was greeted with cheers from the public gallery and muted murmurs of approval from some councillors

My name is Pilgrim Tucker. I am the co-ordinator of Unite the Union Community membership in London. I am presenting this deputation with members of Unite Community in Lambeth and other housing activists on behalf of many local groups and individuals who are urging Lambeth Council to do more for their residents on the issue of social housing in the borough.

For some time now we have been working alongside tenants, residents and members of the community on the issue of decent, affordable homes for all. What we have found and continue to fight against is the anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity caused by the wretched bedroom tax and benefit caps brought in by this government.

These measures will hit thousands in our community. Across the borough tenants are living with the fear of homelessness because of rent arrears and the possibility of being uprooted from neighbourhoods where they may have lived all their lives.The council should act to prevent this insecurity, by reassuring the tenants that they will not be evicted due to the bedroom tax, and set an example to housing associations that are already starting legal proceedings against tenants.

To add to this council property and land is being sold to private developers leading to a reduction in social housing in the borough. Where new tenancies for social housing for tenants are proposed they include unaffordably high rents and shorter, more insecure tenancies.

The policy of ‘short life’ recall threatens people who have been in their homes since the 1970s. Pensioners are among these people who have maintained social housing that the council abandoned. These people were given categorical promises by their Labour councillors that their right to stay in their homes would be defended!

The council says it is using the proceeds from the sale of council owned land and void properties to refurbish existing council properties, but this is a short sighted approach. We need to stop the sale of existing council housing and go further – to start to build new social housing which is available at rents that ordinary local people can actually afford to pay.

Without such action we will see soaring rents and the destruction of secure tenancies for our communities, and risk the loss of the vibrant diverse population and culture for which Lambeth is rightly celebrated.

To have a decent home is a basic human need without which well-being and progress is not possible. With the increase in soup kitchens and homelessness in Lambeth we call upon this council to:

Make a public commitment that no legal action will be taken against tenants who are in arrears due to the the bedroom tax and benefit cuts.

Take no disciplinary action against staff that refuse to be involved with legal action and evictions against tenants.

Give tenancies to those currently occupying short life co-op housing in Lambeth.

Stop the transfer of council land and property to private developers.

Build 100% council homes at low rents with secure tenancies.

Pressure the government to abolish the bedroom tax, restore benefit cuts and undergo a massive, publicly owned house building programme to end this crisis.


20th November poster
Lots of people will be protesting outside the full council meeting this Wednesday:

We’re having a united protest outside the Town Hall from 6pm on Wednesday 20th November

Many people will be meeting outside Lambeth College on Brixton Hill from 5pm to march to Lambeth Town Hall

Please come, and please bring all your friends.

20th November poster
The is a full council meeting of Lambeth Council on Wednesday 20th November and two campaigns Lambeth SOS supports a holding a joint lobby

Lobby – Save Brixton From Property Developers
No Bedroom Tax Evictions, Save Lambeth College in Brixton, Build More Council Housing
Wednesay 20th November 5:30pm – 7pm
Lambeth Town Hall

We need to make sure people know about it over the coming week. We’re doing the following to publicise it

  • Postering Streatham shops – Wednesday 13th November – 6:30pm – Meet at the Telford Avenue Bus Garage on Streatham Hill
  • Postering South Lambeth Road shops – Time TBC
  • Stall – Friday 15th November – 12noon – Outside the Barrier Block on Somerlyton Road
  • Stall – Saturday 16th November – 12 noon – Streatham High Road (opposite Odeon, outside Sainsburys)

If you can help out with any of these please contact us, and include your phone number in the email (please don’t just turn up as they may be changed at short notice)

Soft copy publicity is available here. If you want hard copy publicity please contact us

Please tell everyone you know about the 20th November lobby. We need it to be big if we are to convince the council that everyone deserves a decent home and a decent education

Charmain is a short-life council tenant who has been living in her home for 14 years but now faces homelessness because of Lambeth Council’s policy of selling short-life properties. For Charmain this situation is particularly serious because she is a very vulnerable woman with serious medical problems whose recovery is now under threat because of her precarious housing situation. Her GP and other health workers have made submissions on her behalf appealing for the eviction threat to be lifted but so far these appeals have all been rejected by the Council.

Please sign the petition calling for her eviction order to be lifted

We will be presenting the petition to the council on Monday 16th. Please come and show your support

Protest – Stop the eviction of Charmain
Monday 16th September, 12noon
Lambeth Town Hall

Let us know you’re coming on facebook

Charmain has the support of Helen O’Malley, one of her local Labour councillors

Both Cllr Robbins [cabinet member for housing] and myself recently heard a statement from a senior housing officer that ‘Housing’ continues to pursue a policy for ‘short-life’ residents that is focused on making life difficult for them so that they ‘go away’. As ward councillor, I have asked repeatedly that Lambeth begin to treat its residents with fairness, compassion and professionalism.
The case of Charmaine Lodge is the next example where Lambeth do not work with these residents with care and justice. The ‘Councillor call for Action’ asked that this savage policy be reversed.
I must ask that Charmaine Lodge’s situation is properly evaluated and that Lambeth, her landlords, resolve this situation with detailed and accurate action. It is beyond any acceptable practise that even the eviction date is questionable.
Please will [Cllr Robbins] take action to ensure the wellbeing of this resident.

We’ve stopped evictions of short life tenants before. With your help we can do it again


Lambeth Save Our Services supported The Mass Sleep Out protest that look place last Saturday to highlight the homelessness that will be caused by the bedroom tax. This protest was reported on the front page of the Brixton Blog. You can read the article here