Belfast PBP meeting: Defend Housing Executive, No to Bedroom Tax. Tuesday 5th March @7pm Premier Inn , Waring Street, Belfast

Start Date: 
Tuesday, 5 March, 2013 - 19:00

Hands Off Our Homes Tuesday 5th March @7pm Premier Inn ,Waring Street People Before Profit Public Meeting -No to Bedroom Tax -Defend Housing Executive The Government is leading a two pronged attack on people’s homes and the very idea that we are entitled to a basic standard of public housing and support if needs be. The Bedroom Tax is being implemented in Britain in April-Stormont has still not decided whether it will be implemented or not. More than 600,000 people will lose money for having “too many” bedrooms-many will fall behind on their rent and face eviction. It’s also set to push almost 100,000 social housing tenants into arrears on their rent from this April. In all, the government’s own impact risk assessment estimates that 2.8 million people will lose out Tenants could lose up to £80 a month from their rents. Essentially the idea is to punish people for ‘under-occupancy’-that is having a spare room. But the problem is that there simply aren’t enough one bedroom homes. At the same time the Toff George Osbourne opposes a mansion tax for the rich. It seems to be one law for the Tories and their friends, another for everyone else. We also have the attempt by Nelson McCausland supported by the whole Stormont executive to scrap the Housing Executive in the North. It’s believed this will be replaced with 5 super-association ,which will deal with the allocating of housing. This will mean ,higher rents, weakening tenant rights and more evictions with housing handed over to private associations. The NIHE is not just the biggest public housing landlord in these islands; its formation is a key legacy of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement (NICRA). The Housing Executive was formed in 1971 as a response to the discrimination Catholics faced in housing. Given this history the omission by McCausland of any information about how houses will be allocated should his proposed privatisation go ahead is conspicuous by its absence and a cause for concern. However, it is not inevitable that McCausland’s planned privatisation will go ahead. Housing stock transfers have been stopped on many occasions in Britain. In 2002, 70,000 council tenants in Birmingham voted to stay with their public landlord; so did tenants in Edinburgh in 2005. In the past year tenants in Caerphilly and Flintshire in Wales have also voted against stock transfer. Welfare is a right and public housing is a necessity. We need a campaign linking trade unions, workers and those affected by these attacks to fight together. Its time we told the skivers in government –Enough is Enough!