Tag Archives: housing

Article from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Scrap the Bedroom Tax about the affordable Housing Bill


The Affordable Housing Bill – a Campaign’s View

‘The bedroom tax? Hasn’t that been scrapped?’ We get comments like this at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Scrap the Bedroom Tax campaign stalls now.  The Labour Party said it would scrap the tax and the Lib Dems said they no longer support it.

The well-publicised Affordable Homes Bill, which proposes changes to the tax,  recently got through its second reading in parliament, with support from both parties. But bedroom tax tenants are still suffering.

‘Y’ is terrified about the impact of a summons on her mental health and has borrowed money to pay her bedroom tax arrears. She doesn’t know how she’ll pay it back or what will happen when the arrears build up again.

‘A’ and ‘Z’ pay their bills fortnightly and buy as much food as they can afford and then stay at home until the next benefit payment.

‘K’ suffers from depression and is grieving the recent death of a close elderly relative. She is now facing mounting arrears as that relative helped her pay the bedroom tax.

‘P’ was refused a discretionary housing payment (DHP) and is using food banks to feed her family.

The bill does nothing for them now and it may still do nothing if and when it gets through eight more stages to become law.

The bill does not abolish the bedroom tax. It exempts households where:

  • certain home adaptions have been made because of disability
  • people expected to share a room can’t because of disability
  • no reasonable alternative accommodation has been offered

It doesn’t exempt households who need an extra room for medical equipment or for overnight carers for disabled children. Or parents who are not their children’s main carer, or their children are away studying or in young offenders’ institutions.

All the exemptions rely on tenants being aware of and proving that they are exempt – not an easy task – in Nottingham our campaign is still coming across bedroom tax tenants who have not been made aware that they are eligible for a refund because of the pre-1996 tenant loophole confirmed in January 2014, or are having to fight to get a refund from Nottingham City Council.

The Labour-dominated city council doesn’t even ensure tenants are aware they can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment before taking them to court for bedroom tax arrears.  Also Advice centres who could support tenants are already working at full capacity and at least one advice centre in Nottingham no longer helps tenants complete the new eight page DHP application forms.

Critically the bill does not challenge the fundamental principle of the bedroom tax: if someone does not leave their home, their housing benefit will be cut and they will be expected to use money meant for food and bills to cover their rent.

While it brings hope, publicity about the Affordable Housing Bill is confusing and potentially reduces active support for bedroom tax campaigns.

“There will be no evictions from council run properties… as a result of the bedroom tax.” Milan Radulovic, leader of Nottinghamshire’s Broxtowe borough council made this commitment in April 2013 and has kept to it. With 17 Labour, 17 Conservative and 10 Lib Dem councillors, it shows that councils can be pushed if some councillors are prepared to take a lead. But this is not enough. They are still implementing the bedroom tax though not evicting.

Labour has a majority in local government, they could stop the bedroom tax tomorrow if all their councils made similar announcements. They should cancel all bedroom tax debts, using reserves in the short term and launch a mass campaign with unions, campaigners, community groups, disabled groups and others to demand the shortfall from the government.

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Local group lobby Nottingham City Council in Clifton to refuse Bedroom Tax evictions


For Immediate Release – 30/9/2013

Contacts:
Cathy Meadows: 07913476905
Email defendcounciltaxbenefits [at] yahoo.co.uk

Local group declare evictions prevention protocol ineffective and lobby Nottingham City Council in Clifton to refuse Bedroom Tax evictions

Nottingham Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign are lobbying Nottingham City Council to publicly announce that they will not evict people because of Bedroom Tax arrears and that a recent Nottingham Bedroom Tax Eviction Protocol[i] cannot prevent Bedroom Tax evictions.

The group have responded to the Evictions Ptrevention Protocol but they have not had a response from Nottingham City Council. Notices Seeking Possession have been sent by Nottingham City Council to residents in Clifton and St Anns.

The Lobby will be held at Clifton Cornerstone on Friday 4 October at 10.30am.

Ends
[i] The Eviction Prevention Protocol was signed by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Community Housing Association and ASRA Housing Group on 14 September 2013.

Previous release on 23/9/2013: https://nottssos.org.uk/2013/09/30/nottingham-bedroom-tax-eviction-prevention-protocol-does-not-prevent-evictions-but-shifts-blame-onto-the-tenant-press-release/

A weekend of anti-cuts activity in Nottingham & Notts (5th/6th February 2011) – Libraries, Shelters & Housing, Vodafone


Yesterday, Saturday 5th February, as part of a countrywide protest against library closures ‘Voices for the Library’, library read-ins and other protests were taking place in Beeston, Carlton, Chilwell, Stapleford, Sneinton and Toton. In London at New Cross one library was occupied last night. Read more in Evening Post prior to Nottingham and Notts library events.

Carlton Library, Station Road, Carlton - 5th Feb 2011

Say No To Cuts stall, Market Square, Nottingham, 5/2/2011

Also on the same day in the Market Square, Nottingham, a ‘Say No To Cuts’ stall was run by some of those involved with local homeless shelters and women’s refuges that are facing huge cuts or closure, also highlighting cuts to Refugee Action and housing support for vulnerable young people and adults. Leaflets and petitions were used to encourage more people to get involved. A set of letters written by local homeless teenagers was on display, explaining the vital importance to them of the housing and shelter facilities in Notts that are threatened by funding cuts. Campaign organisers described the cuts as ‘disgusting’ and vowed to prevent a return to large numbers of people sleeping in city centre doorways.

UKUncut
Update post-event. See some photos on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=100001814289529

On Sunday 7th February 2011 at 1pm a UKUncut protest is due to take place at the Vodafone store on Clumber Street. Vodafone was let off billions off its tax bill by HM Revenue and Customs, money which could have been used to avoid public sector cuts. This is also the next local demonstration since one week ago it became clear that police had used CS spray and hospitalised UKUncut activists at the Oxford Road, London branch of Boots (who are another subject of this ongoing campaign against corporate tax avoidance).

Today’s UKUncut protest in Nottingham makes a further link with the situation in Egypt where revolutionaries are being subjected to CS gas and worse. According to the Financial Times, both France Telecom and Vodafone transmitted pro-government text messages and “Some texts on Vodafone’s network appeared to urge Mr Mubarak’s supporters to confront the anti-government protesters.” According to Mark Steel, writing on Egypt in the Independent newspaper last week, “The Big Society taking place in Egypt means for a moment that the place has become the most democratic country on the planet.” UK UNCUT will therefore be highlighting demands that Vodafone pay their taxes and that they do not support dictators.

See also: Report from a previous UKUncut protest in Nottingham, 30th Jan 2011.

ukuncut demo photo nottingham

Previous demonstration outside Vodafone in Nottingham

Lots more photos on Notts SOS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129772307075242&v=photos

What’s coming up next week? Take a look at https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/02/06/anti-cuts-diary-dates-from-monday-7th-february-2011-nottingham-notts/

What’s happened to the Big Society? – open meeting on 1st Feb 2011


What’s happened to the Big Society? An open meeting to be addressed by Andrew Redfern,
Chief Executive, Framework – the umbrella organization for the homeless in Nottingham and Notts.
Hosted by St Barnabas’ Cathedral Justice & Peace Group. All welcome!

Time/Date: 7.30pm – 9pm, Tuesday 1st February.
Venue: St Barnabas Cathedral, McGuiness Room, Derby Rd, Nottingham, NG1 5AE.
Contact: Patricia Stoat patricia.stoat [at] virgin.net

Notts SOS Newsletter no. 2 for December 2010 – out now


We’ve produced the second of our newsletters in two-page format to make it easier to print off. We’ll also be distributing these on Notts SOS stalls. Hope you like it. Get in touch if you’d like to contribute to the next, or just send us a short article or information about your anti-cuts activities.

Read/download Notts SOS Newsletter No. 2 – Word version: nottssos_newsletter_2_dec_2010_final.doc

Read/download Notts SOS Newsletter No. 2 – PDF version: nottssos_newsletter_2_dec_2010_final.pdf

Racism, Cuts and the Right – Nottingham Unity Committee leaflet and meeting announcement


Nottingham Unity Committee and Notts Stop the BNP will be holding a public meeting on 20th January 2011 to highlight how the right-wing may seek to take advantage of the climate of austerity to further a racist and nationalist agenda. Please put the date in your diary (if you’ve got a 2011 one yet!) and come to the meeting.
Venue: New Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ.
Time: 7.30pm
Download leaflet: nottingham_unity_ctte_cuts_racism_leaflet.pdf

Housing under attack – join a flash mob in Market Square, Tuesday 2nd Nov at 6pm


Logo of Framework, homelessness charity in Nottingham and Notts

At the Notts SOS meeting last night it was announced that Framework workers have called for a “flash mob” – that is, a mass of people to turn up in Nottingham City Centre in the Market Square today Tuesday 2nd November 2010, to make a poignant protest.
Update: Framework flash mob took place – read a report on Notts Indymedia.
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