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Social Housing/ private renters/ squatters/ homeless

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Just thought I should pass on the FT view of Right to Buy (Tories wrong to buy votes..)
[I just picked it up on the 171 coming back from New Cross - honest]
View attachment 72120
FT is always worth a read. Pity its so expensive and the online version is pay site.

Martin Wolf changed from being an advocate of Thatcher/ Reagan "free market" to returning to Keynesianism. He has been critical of austerity economics.

He misses the point imo. The Tories want to destroy social housing. Its main aim is not a bribe. Its to destroy the idea of social housing as its developed over the last hundred years once and for all.

He is right to say RTB played a role in reducing Council housing building. Now they want to get rid of HAs.

He is also right to say "it amounts to nothing less than the expropriation of private property".

A lot of this housing belongs to organisations who started out from philanthropic gifts in 19C and charitable gifts of land. This is not State owned property. Some HAs more recently got government grants. But not all. So a Tory government is interfering in property rights here.

Interesting point he is making.
 
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FridgeMagnet

Administrator
It is of course the usual context-free "apolitical" (i.e. political) stuff, refusing to look at why any of these policies come about. Nothing about, say, a good slice of the motivation being to continue the bubble—a very important economic issue, one would have thought.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Take Peabody for example

The Trust was founded in 1862 by London-based American banker George Peabody, who in the 1850s had developed a great affection for London, and determined to make a charitable gift to benefit it.....
in a letter to The Times on 26 March 1862, he launched the Peabody Donation Fund, with an initial gift of £150,000. The aim of the organisation, he said, would be to "ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness". The paper reported, "We have today to announce an act of beneficence unexampled in its largeness and in the time and manner of the gift".[2] Shortly before his death in 1869, Peabody increased his gift to a munificent £500,000.[3]

The Peabody Trust was later constituted by Act of Parliament, stipulating its objectives to work solely within London for the relief of poverty. This was to be expressed through the provision of model dwellings for the capital's poor.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
It is of course the usual context-free "apolitical" (i.e. political) stuff, refusing to look at why any of these policies come about. Nothing about, say, a good slice of the motivation being to continue the bubble—a very important economic issue, one would have thought.
Wolf assumes that his view that "its not the job of government to fulfill all the aspirations people possess unless doing so responds to a fundamental social need" is just commonsense. He is a technocrat who believes in "apolitical" policy making.

What he does not see is that this is political viewpoint.

Stiglitz another Keynesian is much more political.
 
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CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
FT is always worth a read. Pity its so expensive and the online version is pay site.

Martin Wolf changed from being an advocate of Thatcher/ Reagan "free market" to returning to Keynesianism. He has been critical of austerity economics.

He misses the point imo. The Tories want to destroy social housing. Its main aim is not a bribe. Its to destroy the idea of social housing as its developed over the last hundred years once and for all.

He is right to say RTB played a role in reducing Council housing building. Now they want to get rid of HAs.

He is also right to say "it amounts to nothing less than the expropriation of private property".

A lot of this housing belongs to organisations who started out from philanthropic gifts in 19C and charitable gifts of land. This is not State owned property. Some HAs more recently got government grants. But not all. So a Tory government is interfering in property rights here.

Interesting point he is making.
He seems to misunderstand the nature and funding of Housing Associations. But his point that tenants who are lucky enough to have social housing, and the resources to use RTB turns social housing into a lottery game at entry level and at RTB level. Not to speak of subsequent leakage into the Buy to Let market - at further massive potential cost to the tax payer.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
1. The campaign against Guinness Housing Association's regeneration of the Loughborough Park estate continues...
AST tenants are still living there with the threat of eviction hanging over them and demanding rehousing by Guinness in secure accommodation.

Activists are continuing to occupy 86 Elveden House in solidarity with the AST tenants resisting eviction and to protest against Guinness plans to demolish the remaining blocks. To get involved check out the website at https://guinnessoccupation.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/new-occupation-at-guinness/

Guinness Tenants and Housing Activists will be picketing the Lambeth Planning Committee on Tuesday the 16th of June (meet in front of Lambeth Town Hall at 6.30pm) where Guinness are applying for planning permission to demolish the last remaining old blocks. We are demanding that Lambeth refuse the planning permission to build new high rise apartment blocks because Guinness intend to sell them at full market rate (part buy-part rent) or rent them at 'affordable' rents which are up to 80% of the market rate and so way above what most people can afford. We want these blocks to be refurbished which would be a much cheaper option so that they can be re-let to secure tenants on SOCIAL rents that are truly affordable.
If Guinness are allowed to get rid hundreds of social rented flats in loughborough park then it is one more nail in the coffin for Brixton as a real mixed community and another step towards making Brixton a gentrified haven for the city rich.

Bring a banner on Tuesday and join and share the facebook event here-
https://www.facebook.com/events/867509809986645/870378209699805/
 

Greebo

'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back?
R.I.P.
Totally unsurprised at Lucia Deere trying to close down the choices available to residents. She attempted that here, too.
Lucia Deere even objected to at least one of the working group meetings here being fully minuted, on the grounds that she felt "railroaded by it".
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
This Saturday we are joining up with other local activists groups to discuss how we organise and how we can take lessons from successful housing groups such as the PAH in Spain to strengthen our movement here.

Join and share the meeting on facebook here...
https://www.facebook.com/events/927289070670693/
This meeting is to bring together housing campaigners in South London with a representative from the PAH in Spain

The PAH is a grassroots organisation fighting evictions in Spain which has grown to 250,000 members in a few years.

The housing movement in the UK has also gathered huge momentum in the past few years. In Lambeth alone we have numerous activist groups campaigning on housing issues such as Lambeth Housing Activists, Private Renters groups, Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL), Brixton Action Group Against Gentrification and Evictions (BAGAGE), Unite Community, estate based campaigns such as Save Cressingham Gardens, the Guinness Trust campaign, occupation groups, the housing co-ops and many others...!

This meeting is to bring people together to look at what has worked in Spain and what methods we have used to organise here - what tactics are working well? what can we learn from each other? Could we come together to form a common housing organisation in south london? Everything up for discussion and everyone's contribution welcome.

Food and drink on sale during meeting and another opportunity to watch 'Si Se Peude', the film about PAH, after the meeting.

Children are welcome - and we want to finish by 8 at the latest for people with children, so we will aim to start on time!
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Latest news on Guinness Trust:


The campaign for Guinness tenants continues as one of the last AST tenants is threatened with eviction. Most of the other ASTs have been offered alternative accommodation but Marian has not. She is due in court on Friday and is appealing for supporters to come to the court to protest outside.

Protest for Marian - Stop the eviction
Lambeth County Court Cleaver St, Kennington London SE11 4DZ
Friday 28th of August 1.30pm

Sign up and share the protest on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/149810135356701/150729038598144/



Marian’s story
Words/told by Aleksandra





A desolate Guinness estate in Loughborough Park in Brixton seemingly comes to life in the evenings when just a few lights in the windows strive to brighten a dim landscape. Most of the tenants have already left. They have been rehoused by Guinness after the tenants campaign and occupation. Still not everybody was so lucky.

Marian is a Guinness Trust assured shorthold tenant (AST) and she has been living in Kenwood House in Loughborough Park since 2007. Due to the ongoing regeneration of the estate she received a Section 21 notice last year but the court stopped the possession order against Marian and ordered compensation due to damp and the general bad condition of the flat. She received the compensation and was moved to a flat in a better condition in the same building.

This year, at the turn of February and March all her neighbours started to receive possession order letters, but not her. She contacted the Guinness Housing Office when her neighbours had been offered alternative accommodation but she had not been made any offers. She was told that a flat had been offered to her but she had turned it down. A day before she had received a call from Guinness and she was told that Guinness would see what they could do with her case. This phone call was classified by Guinness as an offer. After Marian attempted to clarify the situation this phonecall was reclassified as a misunderstanding.

On the 12th of June Marian received a letter stating that she was next to be rehoused but after two weeks a possession order arrived. Additionally, Guinness informed her that they cannot rehouse her as she has ‘no recourse to public funds’ and referred her to LambethCouncil.

Soon after she received a call from the Lambeth Moving on Team and she was offered help with finding private accommodation. She contacted private landlords who told her that she does not meet their eligibility criteria due to her low salary.Therefore the Lambeth Moving onTeam offered to help her find private accommodation outside of London.

Her attempts to contact Guinness housing officers were unsuccessful as they were constantly in meetings, and nobody a tGuinness wanted to speak with her. Now she has discovered that the transfer application form she sent to them in April is not on her Guinness file. Very recently Marian received a call from the Guinness Housing Manager who informed her that “the clock is ticking”...
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
This was in a thread on UK politics. Worth putting here.

Compares uptake of free school meals in London. Graph shows that in central London , including Lambeth, the number of children having free school meals has dropped. A sign likely to do with poorer families moving out of central London. Not easy to categorically link this to changes in welfare. But still shows that London is getting more divided. There has been increase in free school meals on the edges of London at the same time.

Sadiq Khan, the prospective London mayoral candidate who obtained the figures, said government policies were creating an increasingly segregated city.

“This data shows that the government’s policies on welfare and housing have caused social cleansing in London on a vast scale,” said Khan. “Families have been driven out of large parts of the city ... this is not the kind of London I grew up in or want my daughters to live in.”
Tony Travers, a professor at the London School of Economics, said the flight of poorer families from the capital was, in part, a consequence of government policy.

“I would be surprised if government policies like the bedroom tax and the benefits cap had not had a displacement effect and that is what we appear to be seeing here.”

Travers said these policies had strengthened an ongoing trend that, since the 1990s, has seen inner London become more affluent and more expensive.

“This phenomenon is one that any future mayor of London would want to know much more about because if inner London is being hollowed out it would have big implications and would be something to take action on.”
 
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Gramsci

Well-Known Member
> Dear Housing Activists,
>
> Guinness are pressing ahead with their plans to evict their remaining
> shorthold tenants. We urgently need supporters to stop Ibrahim's eviction
> this Friday -
> Friday 18th September 7.30am (bailiffs due at 8am) - stop Ibrahim's eviction
> Kenwood House, Loughborough Park, SW9 8NL
> Facebook event here Stop Ibrahim's Eviction | Facebook
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
> Dear Housing Activists,
>
> Guinness are pressing ahead with their plans to evict their remaining
> shorthold tenants. We urgently need supporters to stop Ibrahim's eviction
> this Friday -
> Friday 18th September 7.30am (bailiffs due at 8am) - stop Ibrahim's eviction
> Kenwood House, Loughborough Park, SW9 8NL
> Facebook event here Stop Ibrahim's Eviction | Facebook
Cancelled as Guiness Trust have last minute rehoused him.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Heard the one about the Brixton "Right to Buy" house going for £1,350,000?
3 Bedroom semi-detached house | Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 | £1,350,000 | haart
This Victorian Villa is down as having 3 bedrooms - but probably if you discount all the "en suite" shit had 5 to start with.

Pity about the garden though - if Lambeth Council hadn't nicked much of it to give to Metropolitan to build "Heritage Close" the house might have fetched nearer the £2 million required in a yuppy conservation area.
RTB 257CHL.jpg
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
There was an interesting article by Anthony Hilton in the Standard 29th Sept entitled Swept under the carpet: Truth about Tory plans for Housing Associations.

Seems not to be available online.
Main points were these:
1. Right to buy on HA properties was launched as a bolt from the blue without consultation.
2. Housing Associations are being pressured to agree to this - with a veiled threat that they may be re-classified as public bodies, thereby giving the government the right to sell off what they want of the HA housing stock.
3. Government has encouraged the HA movement to borrow funds on the commercial market from insurance companies etc. Now the chancellor has announced that rents are pegged to inflation - 1%. This makes commercial borrowing much more difficult as the safety of the loans is now in doubt - including downgrading the classification of existing loans.

Hilton's conclusion is that the current government policy on Housing Association social housing is in as much of a mess as local authority social housing - and is potentially destabilising the whole sector.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Interesting Analysis radio 4 podcast on Housing Benefit this week.
Yes - I heard it on the radio and listened again
(link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06bnbpx)

Seems like McDonnell/Corbyn solution wouldn't muck around agonising like that. They advocate rent control in the private sector.

The Radio 4 Analysis programme seemed to imply that Tory policy had been to allow social & private sector rents to converge at a high level - but now they can't afford it.

BTW at the beginning of the programme Paul Johnson (presenter) was discussing social housing with someone in Nelson Square, Southwark. If you Google that address you will see former right to buy flats on offer for £350,000 in 2012.

The programme hardly mentioned the effect of right to buy, and only a couple of times mentioned that private rents rise to the maximum level that Housing Benefit will pay.

They person advocating higher density living should now read the Standard articles on Angel Town - it is still going on. So his argument that people being unwilling to sleep 2 or 4 to a room is "uneconomic" seemed a bit Nazi to me. How many does his family sleep to a room? - or is that only for "the poor people" to put up with?
 

HOUSINGMAZE

New Member
Hi All,

New to this and hope this is the right thread to post my question and experience. I am currently in the homeless pathway for women which is managed by St Mungo's The Broadway. I am already on the housing list in band C2 and bid weekly. I have been advised by CAB who made enquiries for me that should I moved onto the "PRAS" (Private Rented ? Scheme) I would be placed in a private accommodation with a Housing Benefit rent cover guarantee for two years. I would also be placed on the higher bidding band B. My worries here are, what happens after 2 years? and well does going along with this really set me up in a better position to bid?

However, after speaking to one of the area managers today from the charity I was told that they've flat out been told in area meetings with Lambeth Council that "there is no social housing for your clients" and the person themselves said "there is no social housing in Lambeth". I asked if I could look to neighbouring boroughs and was told "no" as I don't have a connection. I have family connection in social housing in Kensington and Chelsea but ha! that's less likely. I appreciate that there are market forces at play regarding the "trendy Brixton" movement, which is why I am happy to look at neighbouring boroughs.

But it's really confusing to know what to do. Some people have refused the PRAS pathway and eventually got given a direct offer, however their circumstances where more extreme than mine. So I would like some advice of what to do.

Lost in the Maze
 
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