Middleton meeting to debate Housing Bill

Decent, secure, affordable housing for all – meeting in Middleton Thursday 12 May

This Thursday (12 May 2016) the Leeds housing campaign group Hands Off Our Homes is holding a public meeting to discuss what the Housing and Planning Bill means for ourselves and our communities. Please join us at 7pm at Middleton St Cross church hall, Middleton Park Avenue, LS10 4HX.

If the Bill is passed in its present form, it could mean that Leeds City Council is forced to sell off up to 1,000 dch_logocouncil houses per year for the next few years. This is at a time when over 24,000 households are on the waiting list for social housing, and when street homelessness is soaring due to high private-sector rents combined with insecure tenancies, benefit cuts and sanctions. Thousands are “hidden homeless” sofa-surfing with friends, are stuck in unsuitable overcrowded conditions or are adults unable to leave home and find a place of their own.

bedroom tax demoNew council tenants will no longer have security of tenure: although the government has made some concessions to enable stability for families with children, many tenants could find themselves forced to leave their homes when their circumstances change. Households managing to increase their income may find themselves facing rent-rises – an additional income tax for families who happen to live in social housing! And new benefit cuts, the introduction of Universal Credit and the continuation of the hated “bedroom tax” will mean thousands of families being unable to pay their rent and facing potential eviction – including many with children.

Hands Off Our Homes has campaigned hard against the bedroom tax, as well as helping many tenants to avoid eviction and apply for Discretionary Housing Payments. We have advised people about how to appeal against bedroom tax decisions, and we continue to do so as new Upper Tribunal decisions open the way to appeals for tenants whose “spare” rooms do not meet the criteria for being classed as a bedroom. If you want more information about this, please get in touch with us at handsoffourhomes@gmail.com.

bedroom for playingNow we have an even bigger fight on our hands – we are fighting for the future of social housing and for the very right of people in Leeds and nationally to a secure, decent home which they can afford. This struggle is not just for the current generation of tenants, but even more importantly, for future generations. Alongside the National Health Service, the education system and much more, it’s a fight to stop the theft of public assets, and prevent all our public services being re-organised to serve private profit instead of public benefit.

We CAN make our voices heard – if we work together. Please join us at this meeting on Thursday to learn more and share ideas about how we can campaign and how we can support each other so that no-one has to live in fear of losing the roof over their head.


This post was written by Ellen Robottom using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.