‘Kill the Housing Bill!’ Tenants protest Tory attacks on social housing

Thousands will protest the Tory government’s Housing and Planning Bill on Sunday. Far from solving the UK’s housing crisis, activists say the legislation will deepen inequality and division within society.

Britain’s housing crisis has been caused by a lack of affordable homes. In December 2015 London house prices rose by 9.4 percent to £536,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

“Average house prices are now 12 times average London pay… It effectively puts home ownership out of reach for a majority of ordinary Londoners,” cross-bench peer Lord Kerslake told reporters this week.

The Conservative government’s Housing Bill aims to promote “starter homes” by selling properties at a 20 percent discount, as well as introducing a “pay to stay” scheme, which will attempt to cut off subsidies for some council tenants.

However, local authorities across England think the plan will force families out onto the street. Single parent Debra L’Esteve and her 11-year-old daughter live in accommodations owned by Camden Council. Speaking to RT, she said that under the new ‘pay to stay’ provisions, their rent would become “almost four times more expensive.”

Suffering from a disability, Clapham resident Trace Newton, 56, is “terrified” for her future.

“As a disabled person, the possibility of not having secure housing within a stable, supportive community terrifies me. Insecure housing causes suffering on so many levels. It is inevitable the Housing Bill will have serious consequences for the whole of UK society, in particular the most vulnerable residents,” she told RT.

Another Camden council tenant, Sarah Quigley, said: “I live in a one bedroom council flat with my partner and two young daughters, and I am a carer for my disabled mother, who lives nearby.”

“If the Housing Bill is passed there is no way we will be able to get the two-bed council flat that we need, and it will mean that I can no longer afford to live in Camden, or even London, where I have lived all my life,” Quigley added.

Also opposing the bill, council tenant Steve Hack called the measured an “injustice” and “an attack on the very poorest by the very richest.”

Kill the Housing Bill campaigners will protest against the legislation on Sunday.

“The Housing Bill is supposedly designed to solve the housing crisis. But in fact it’s not only going to make the housing crisis much worse but it’s also going to increase inequality and division within society. In many places in the UK, especially in London, the ability to access the house – the basic human right of having a house – is becoming increasingly out of grasp for a large proportion of the population,” a spokesperson for the campaign told RT.

full article and video at :RT