Social Housing/ private renters/ squatters/ homeless

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Thought I would start thread to put info up on what is happening around Brixton and surrounds re Council Housing , private rented tenants and squatting.

    A lot is happening that threatens truly affordable housing for all.

    A new group has been set up "Lambeth Housing Activists" supported by Unite Community ( section of Unite Union). It includes Council tenants, "Short Life", private renters, homeless group and squatters. So is not just for one group. It is to build links and share information with disparate groups.

    A newsletter has been started. This is first issue. Unite have printed it. I have copies if anyone wants one or more.

    Here is PDF version. Please share.

    There is FB page for meeting details. Meetings are open to anyone.
    Onket, cesare, boohoo and 5 others like this.
  2. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    next meeting is today Tuesday

    St Matthews tenants hall, 10 St Matthews road, Brixton sw2 1nh

    at 7pm

    AKA pseudonym
    AKA pseudonym likes this.
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Old Vic community theatre are having workshops

    The Old Vic Community Company are researching for their new production. Focusing on housing, they will be holding free workshops across South London and this is your chance to get involved. Come along and have your say, find out about how you can be involved in the production and meet like-minded Londonders
  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Got this email from DCH:
  5. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Posted up the newsletter.It is in PDF on first post.

  6. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

    Don't know a great deal about their politics (I'm a frequent visitor to Lewisham borough but not really involved in what's going on locally), but Lewisham / Greenwich has the party (?) people before profit - I'm aware they have done a certain amount on the housing front, e.g. occupying and refurbishing homes that council / housing association have tried to flog off.

    And from the front page of their website, bedroom tax seems to be fairly high on their list of priorities at the moment.

    Might possibly be some common ground.

    I'm not a Lambeth resident (other than the bit of virtual brixton that is U75) but wonder if Lambeth might be fertile territory for something offering a bit more than new-labour does...
    Greebo, AKA pseudonym and Gramsci like this.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Been looking at the Council "State of the Borough Report 2012". It gives overview of Lambeth and also individual wards. Looks at housing , ethnicity, age, income differences and deprivation.

    Coldharbour Ward ( covers central Brixton, market, and estates such as Barrier Block and Moorlands) is the most deprived ward in Lambeth and is up there as one of the top 10% deprived in the country.

    Page 11

    Greebo likes this.
  8. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    From the same report page 21:

  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    So Coldharbour ward has a majority living in social housing. 3 in 5.
  10. Nedrop

    Nedrop Member

    From the private rent side a 2 bed flat towards Loughborough Junction in Coldharbour Ward with a kitchen/diner is currently around £1250 a month rent

    £100 or so cheaper a month than central Brixton area

    Still a lot for those who earn an average salary and don't get access to social housing
    Greebo and Gramsci like this.
  11. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    Does that means someone is poor though? If I was in social housing in Lambeth, then we would be £300 a month better off.
  12. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It also has very high levels of people living on benefits, so it's fair to say that they're not exactly coining it in around these parts.

    On a different note, I've posted up the LHA docs on Brixton Buzz:
    Greebo and Gramsci like this.
  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I see your point.

    However my post 7 quotes the report that its the large estates in Coldharbour ward that are deprivd in terms of income, health, employment etc.

    This does not necessarilly have to go together with living in social housing. It happens in Coldharbour ward that the statistics show those living on these estates are amongst the most deprived in borough.

    I think that is why it does not cause the outcry it should do. Its effectively hidden on these estates. Unless you meet people from the estates ( as I have) you would not necesssarily know about it first hand. Secondly there has been years of propaganda from governments ( Labour/ Tory ? LD) and press about "scroungers" etc. I do not think the majority in Coldharbour ward are well represented by the political classes. Thirdly there is a complacent attitude from many people.

    When Council housing was being built in after the war it was supposed to have a cross section of society living in it. The gradual reduction in social housing since Thatcher (RTB and less and less built) has put an end to that.

    When large estates were built after the war working people had jobs. Thirty years of economic changes has meant that a whole lot of people are superflous to requirements of Capital.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
    Greebo likes this.
  14. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    Living on benefits (up til recently with all the cuts and taxes) doesn't mean you are necessarily hard up. There are lots of people on low paid jobs or even on reasonably paid incomes struggling to meet the costs of living in London. Neither benefits or low paid makes your life particularly fun or easy and you have to deny yourself things or chose what you spend your money on wisely. Or hope that a family member has some cash to help you out.
  15. editor

    editor hiraethified

    No it doesn't, but an awful lot of people on benefits are hard up, and lots certainly are hard up on my estate.
    Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  16. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Living on benefits definitely makes one hard up. Has been for some time. Do not understand your post. As you say in second half that "you have to deny yourself things".

    A lot of people on benefits are working. Claim benefits to make up for low pay.

    There is definition called "Minimum Income Standard". Only just been looking at it.

    Basically its more than just living but what people should get to be part of society. ie access to internet at home for example.

    Frances Lengel, Greebo and editor like this.
  17. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Yet, at the same time, we are reliant on migrant workers to keep our schools and hospitals etc going. Weird.
    Greebo likes this.
  18. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I've noticed that most of the guys replacing pavements, working on St Matthews Estate improvements and Brockwell Park improvements are all eastern European.
  19. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Same is true of the workers who have transformed Brockwell Park
  20. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Is that a different bunch to the ones who worked on Brockwell Park improvements?:p
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Business wants cheap labour. Nothing weird about it. Its how the system works.

    NHS poaches skilled nurses and doctors from other countries. Means they do not incur costs of training.

    Also a lot of jobs in hospitals (cleaning etc) have been outsourced to private companies who pay workers less with little security in employment.

    A lot of jobs are now short term contracts/ zero hours contracts.

    China is the workshop of the world based on its on internal migration of cheap labour to cities.

    My friend in Shenzen says her city ( the first area where Communist Party set up free market economic zone) empties out in holidays as most of population are migrant workers. These migrant workers do not have the rights that she has in her city.

    Point is if you do working class job ur are shafted one way or another.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
    Greebo, Frances Lengel and cuppa tee like this.
  22. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    But what about the jobless on the estates?
    Greebo likes this.
  23. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

    there isn't one complete and simple answer, but i can't help thinking that a significant bit of it is that business would rather pay minimum wage (or if it can find some sort of fiddle to pay less) to migrant workers with existing skills than pay to train unskilled british workers...
    Gramsci and leanderman like this.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    This is worth bringing up again. The UN rapporteur on housing report.

    and this:

  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Council Housing finances have changed. Briefly- the new system is called "Self Financing". Each Council has taken on some of the overall debt that was originally held by central Government. This was done using a complicated formula. Some Councils did better than others.

    Lambeth has relatively well out of it. After taking on some of the debt it has £140 - 148 million "headroom". This is the amount of money it can borrow.

    The HRA account also appears to be in surplus. More info here on Self financing / HRA in Lambeth in recent report to Housing Scrutiny.

    Looks to me like Lambeth are being over cautious.

    Other Councils are using the "headroom" and HRA surplus ( which they can now keep unlike under the old system) more creatively.

    See here Inside Housing article.

    Other Councils are using the "Headroom" to improve existing stock and build new housing. New housing which will bring in revenue stream of course.

    The Inside Housing article also says that Lambeth is in top 5 in amount of "Headroom" they are able to use.

    Its a good article summarising this complex subect.

    In page 5 of the pdf link to report above Lambeth say they will use Headroom to :

    Considering what some other Councils are doing I think Lambeth can be questioned that they are not using the new freedom of movement they now have under "Self Financing".

    Still this is just first thoughts. Im no expert.

    Problem is to argue a case for Council to build. (Southwark argue they have large historic debts to pay off. )
    Greebo likes this.
  27. Effrasurfer

    Effrasurfer SW2 I Love You

    I'll be there at the lobbying on Wednesday, although probably nearer 6:30.
    Gramsci likes this.
  28. Effrasurfer

    Effrasurfer SW2 I Love You

    About to put five or six layers on and head over to the Town Hall.
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

  30. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    A lively demo and Council meeting. I took notes but not time now to post them up. More photos:

    Greebo and AKA pseudonym like this.

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