housing

Over the last few months, the police and Home Office have been systematically arresting, detaining and deporting European Economic Area (EEA) national rough sleepers. 

In May last year, the Government adopted the legally dubious position that rough-sleeping is an “abuse” of EU Citizens’ right to freedom of movement”.  The “abuse of right” law is intended to allow the deportation of EU citizens convicted of crimes, but the Government is using it to crack down on migrant rough sleepers who’ve committed no crime.

Cash-strapped local councils are being bribed to support these actions through access to a new pot of money - the Controlling Migration Fund - available to councils that identify rough sleepers to the Home Office or bully homeless migrants into returning home voluntarily. 

Homelessness Is Not A Crime

Over half of the rough-sleepers in London are migrants.  This is largely because of unfair laws that restrict migrants’ ability to claim benefits.  As such, people who have lived, worked and paid tax in the UK for years can find themselves homeless with no safety net.

Even when councils have a legal duty to house migrants (such as when they have children), they do all they can to wriggle out of it - in one case claiming that a mother and her children had a “network” they could rely on because she was staying with a stranger she’d met at the bus stop. 

They end up in a Catch-22 situation - unable to pay their rent, but being faced with arrest and deportation if sleeping rough.

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Tottenham Town Hall, Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham, London N15 4RY
6.30pm, Monday 9 June
Bring your neighbours and friends

Tenants and residents are objecting to Haringey Council's planned 'estate reviews', to sell off, demolish and redevelop many of our Council housing estates around the borough [*See details at the end]. There have already been large residents' meetings on some of the estates and people are saying 'We Will Not Be Moved!'.

Please come along to this important Lobby. Your family, friends and neighbours are all welcome. Let's put our case to the newly elected-Councillors, and speak out about the future of Haringey.

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The Weekender is on the 26th and 27th April. It’s a collaboration among groups from across London, who work on a whole range of housing issues including private renting, access to welfare, squatting, co-operatives and social housing.

The housing crisis grows steadily deeper, and yet those is power fail to take the necessary action to secure the future of the city. This weekend will bring people together to build a movement of practical solidarity, to resist social cleansing and reclaim the city for the people who live here.

 

It’s set to be an action-packed two days. On Saturday 26th, there are events planned all round London, organised by local groups who are in the Radical Housing Network. Events are set to take place in Lewisham, Lambeth, Brent, Camden, Hackney and Haringey, and include films, info-stalls, discussions, games, and actions. If you’d like to get involved in your area, or if you’d like to propose something in an area that’s not already covered, get in touch!

On Sunday 27th, we’ll all come together in central London, for a day of discussion, action planning and strategising. The day will include:

Action planning and preparation – we will be building for a mass action in the week after the event

Organising against the crisis: How can we work together to build a stronger housing movement?

Alternatives: co-ops, self-builds, neighbourhood plans and more

Speakers including Danny Dorling (author of All that is Solid) and Liz Davies (Haldane Society)

Media training for housing and gentrification action groups

Legal advice surgery and training on providing legal support

Tea, cake (hopefully), chat

For up-to-date information, please see the event page and follow @radicalhousing for updates.

 

Mike Freer MP is a co-architect of the controversial ‘Section 144′ law that criminalises squatting in domestic properties.

On 22nd November 2013, campaigners arrived to protest and camp outside his constituency office (the Finchley building that used to be Margaret Thatcher’s office).

At first, in a PR move, he invited them off the pavement and onto the forecourt, but as many local people showed their support, and others arrived to protest, towards the end of the day he changed his mind. However, the squatters pointed out to the police that he would now need to put that in writing and to apply to a court, which he would be unable to do now before Monday morning, so the camp remains over the weekend at least.

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