Bedroom tax activists call for mass action at Housing 2013 conference
Bedroom tax activists in Manchester are calling for tenants, trade unionists and other campaigners from across the country to flock to the city at the end of June – to demonstrate and lobby at the biggest corporate event in the social housing calendar.
Housing 2013 is an enormous national exhibition and conference of the whole social housing industry across Britain and is organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). This year it will be taking place in Manchester City Centre at the Central exhibition venue from the 25th-27th June. Social landlords, politicians and policy makers will be among those attending.
Protesters have called for a focus on those landlords who have refused to rule out using ‘Ground 8’ fast-track evictions on tenants. This special type of eviction forbids the circumstances which led to rent arrears being discussed in eviction proceedings – so the impact of the bedroom tax on rent payments would be irrelevant in court. South Manchester landlord City South are among those who have refused to rule out use of these special measures against tenants.
Noting that tenants and residents are remarkably absent from the three day event, Manchester No to Bedroom Tax is also calling for the CIH to recognise a delegation of residents to the discussion of welfare reform at lunchtime on Tuesday 25th June.
Maria Brabiner, a Salix Homes tenant from Salford said: “The refusal of some housing associations to rule out using Ground 8 evictions against tenants shows that they’re not all listening. On 25th June we’ll be making sure they stand with us and against this rotten policy, and that those affected by the tax are heard, not shut out of the Housing 2013 conference.”
Another demonstration will take place on Thursday 27th June, starting at 9am, when Housing Minister Mark Prisk and Welfare Reform Advisor Lord Freud will be attending.
Lord Freud, the government advisor who drew up the changes to welfare recently hit the headlines when the Daily Mirror uncovered that he resides in an eight-bedroom country mansion – and that’s when he’s not living in his £1.9m London home.
Mark Krantz from Greater Manchester No Bedroom Tax said: “For a multi-millionaire who owns a country mansion to be telling the poorest they must move from their home adds insult to the injury. On 27th June, we’ll be showing that the ‘Lord of Spare Bedrooms’ David Freud is not welcome in our city.”
- Tuesday 25th June, 12.30pm: Lobby the Landlords (facebook event)
- Thursday 27th June, 9am: Protest the ‘Lord of Spare Bedrooms’, Baron David Freud and Housing Minister Mark Frisk (facebook event)