Join Guinness Trust residents’ twitter storm. Stop the evictions, local social housing NOW.

HASLmeme

Tweet @GuinnessPartnership Wednesday 23rd July, 1-3pm

If you add a full stop (.) at the start of the tweet, it will allow all your followers to see it too.

Guinness Trust residents on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) on the Loughborough Park estate are facing eviction as their so-called social landlord, Guinness Partnership, has written them out of the regeneration plans. After many years living on the estate and being a part of the local community, AST residents are being evicted, made homeless and forced out of their community. We have written about this previously here, and have held a lively protest on the estate.

Residents have described the process as social and ethnic cleansing. The residents have also told us of the intense stress and worry that they have had to endure over the last couple of years, living on what is essentially a building site and watching the new homes be built whilst they wonder where they will end up living.

The residents have started up a campaign, supported by us and Lambeth Housing Activists, calling on Guinness Partnership to rehouse all AST residents in local, social housing (preferably in the new houses they have built on Guinness Trust, Loughborough Park so as to keep the community together). On Wednesday 23rd July from 1-3pm, join our Twitter storm letting Guinness Partnership know what you think about them making people homeless and destroying communities. Tell them that we want local, social housing for all AST residents. Feel free to use the tweet buttons below and also to write your own personal tweets to Guinness Partnership. Retweet other people’s tweets to get the word out and put the pressure on Guinness Partnership.

Not on Twitter? You can email Guinness Partnership on gs.mail@guinness.org.uk or leave a post on their facebook page here (where they apparently respond to your post within 3 working hours)

In solidarity with all those fighting evictions, social cleansing, gentrification, high rents and for our communities.

See you on the tweets!

 

Myatts field day of action – 25th July

Graffiti on the Myatts Field North redevelopment

Graffiti on the Myatts Field North redevelopment

Next Friday (25th July) at 10am at a location to be confirmed tenants will be taking action against the redevelopment of the Myatts Field North estate in Brixton which is being done through a Public Finance Initiative (PFI). A PFI is where a company has fronted the money and Lambeth will pay it back for years at rip off rates. Residents are already seeing:

  • Higher rents
  • Energy monopoly (EON will control the residents energy prices for the next 45 years)
  • Lease holders are being evicted and given poor compensation for their home
  • Green space has been lost
  • Residents have had no say in any of this so far

Myatts Field Residents say:

“We welcome housing groups , tenants from other estates and trade unions to join us at 10am on Friday 25th July (location to be confirmed!).
Wednesday 23rd July we will also be holding a residents meeting in the Bramah Green Community Centre at 7pm , members of the public are welcome to join in.

Please let us know if you are interested in coming to any of the above so we have an idea of the numbers .

The tremendous vote against privatisation on the neighbouring Cowley estate and the angry mood of residents living on the PFI redevelopment shows there is a momentum building in favour of council housing for all, and against the councils complicity with the private sector.”

Guinness Trust residents protest against evictions

 

Guinness Partnership - No evictions!

Guinness Partnership – No evictions!

Some photos of billowing banners and a sunny protest here

On Friday, Guinness Trust shorthold tenants held a loud and lively protest on the estate against evictions and demanding local, social housing. Assured Shorthold Tenants (ASTs) are threatened with eviction and homelessness as part of the estate’s ‘regeneration’. More information here including a tweet button to let ‘social’ landlords Guinness Partnership know what you think of their social cleansing plans.

Over thirty people joined the protest which saw the Guinness Partnership close their office on the estate for the afternoon. The residents’ campaign is supported by Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth and Lambeth Housing Activists. A number of secure tenants joined the protest and a group from the House Of Brag queer social centre in the old Joy shop, who have been making links with local Brixton struggles, came down to support. People played drums, chanted, and spoke with residents and passersby about what was happening to the ASTs.

There was a huge amount of support from the people we spoke with, especially other residents on the estate. On hearing that the Guinness Partnership were making his neighbours homelessness one man said: “it’s wrong, it’s wrong”. Another woman who lived on the estate expressed her anger at the Guinness Partnership’s actions and remarked how this was part of the wider gentrification of Brixton. Talking about all the new shops that have been springing up she asked, “who needs soda bread and ham that’s been cured for 28 days?”

Keep your eyes on this blog, facebook and twitter for more actions as part of the campaign calling on the Guinness Partnership to stop the evictions and provide ASTs with local, social housing. Get in touch with us if you’d like to get involved: haslemail@gmail.com

Focus E15 mums' March for Decent Housing. Photo credit: Peter Marshall, Demotix

Focus E15 mums’ March for Decent Housing. Photo credit: Peter Marshall, Demotix

Then, on Saturday we joined the Focus E15 mums’ campaign and people from other housing groups across London for the ‘March for Decent Housing’ through Newham. Like the ASTs on the Guinness Trust estate, Focus E15 mums are demanding local, social housing after Newham council tried to move the mums out of London into private accommodation in Manchester and Hastings. The campaign saw them win a partial victory as they have been housed in their home borough of Newham, however, the Focus E15 mums are calling for local, secure and affordable social housing for their families and for everyone.

 

Struggling with a housing issue? Angry at high rents, poor housing, and evictions in your communities? Come along to our next meeting, Thursday 10th July, 12pm, Papa’s cafe meeting room, 2-10 Pulross Road, SW9 8AF.

 

Energy rights workshop with HASL and Fuel Poverty Action – Tuesday 8th July

Join us and Fuel Poverty Action on Tuesday 8th July, 6.30pm at Art Nouveau, 77 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PU to learn about our energy rights, how we can enforce these, and how we can take action together for warm homes for all.

It’s summer – but people are struggling to pay rip-off energy bills year round and with winter around the corner, it’s a good time to get clued up on our rights, how we can support each other with our energy issues, and discuss what action we can take together to combat fuel poverty in our communities. A recent article in a Glasgow newspaper showed that people visiting the local food bank were using camping stoves indoors to cook food because they couldn’t afford their gas and electric bills. People cannot afford to cook their food and lives are endangered as people resort to desperate measures such as camping stoves to get warm food.

Please find our poster below and spread the word!

Energy rights workshop

Guinness Partnership – stop making people homeless! Local, social housing for all residents of the Guinness Trust estate

Protest with us on Friday 4th July, 3.30pm meeting at the front of Guinness Trust estate, Loughborough Park, SW9 8NL.

Residents of the Guinness Trust estate, Loughborough Park, are campaigning against so-called ‘social landlord’, Guinness Partnership, who have been making tenants on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (insecure tenancies) homeless as part of the ‘regeneration’ of the estate. Guiness Partnership will in total have made 150 households homeless by the end of the ‘regeneration’. Those that qualify for ‘help’ from Lambeth council face months of exile as Lambeth house hundreds outside the borough while they process their claim for homelessness.

Together, Guinness Trust estate residents, Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, and Lambeth Housing Activists are calling on Guinness Partnership to provide local, social housing for all residents faced with eviction and homelessness. We welcome you to get involved too! Why not contact Guinness Partnership expressing your concern at a ‘social landlord’ making people homeless, there contact details are here and you can tweet them here.

Keep your eyes on our blog for more news and updates, and get in contact if you’d like to get involved: haslemail[at]gmail.com

Guinness Trust estate is one of many estates across London being subjected to ‘regeneration’. Regeneration for who, though? For many residents and communities, this means eviction, homelessness, displacement, and the loss of desperately needed social housing. This quality article on the Brixton Blog includes residents of the Guinness Trust describing the impact of eviction on their lives. One person describes how they were admitted to hospital for four weeks after being evicted by Guinness Partnership. The residents describe how the regeneration is a process of social and ethnic cleansing.

Residents on the estate tried to organise together back in 2010 to have a say in the regeneration, but their attempts were frustrated by the Guinness Partnership who refused to acknowledge their tenants group and allow them use of the community centre. At one of the protests, the residents were threatened by the police and this also contributed to the end of the campaign. ‘9 Stories in Brixton’, a film made by the residents can be seen below. But the residents haven’t given up on their campaign, it’s starting up again.

 

A Guinness Trust AST resident has written to Lambeth council leader Lib Peck asking for her support for the rehousing of Guinness Trust AST residents by Guinness Parternship. Read her letter below
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1 Year of Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth

After Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth’s first birthday in April we thought it would be a good chance to reflect on our year of organising in our boroughs around housing and welfare. We hope to reflect on our challenges and successes, share what we’ve learnt with others, encourage people to get involved or start their own group, and document our activities. At the tender age of 1, our experiences will obviously be somewhat limited, but throughout we have been keen to learn from more established groups in London Coalition Against Poverty and beyond. We hope there are some valuable insights you can take away from this.

We had our 1st birthday social 2 months ago; lots of people came, both old and new, and filled up our small meeting room. There was a table of good food and cake, and a great atmosphere as people ate and talked together. The event encapsulated what we have achieved over the year – the creation of a sizeable group of people from across Lambeth and Southwark meeting together and socialising, brought together by shared concerns and experiences, and a desire to do something about these.

A small group of people began to meet in a Camberwell Chinese takeaway with in-door seating last April to form a local housing group in our home boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. People in the group had direct experience of job centre bullshit and rip off private renting, we were also acutely aware of the new cuts to welfare and housing benefit, soaring rents, and gentrification that would make everything a whole lot worse in our communities. Some of us had experience in workfare campaigning and were keen to be involved in more direct support and solidarity with benefit and housing issues locally. We were inspired by London Coalition Against Poverty groups such as Hackney Housing Group – we’d heard stories about groups of mostly Women of Colour descending upon the housing office and having their demands met. We wanted to do something like this in south London and used the brilliant pamphlet made by LCAP to guide us.

Continue reading

Bedroom Tax Meeting This Thursday

After our recent win with Djina’s case where we got rid of the bedroom tax for one of her rooms, her lawyer, Kevin,  from Lambeth Community Law centre has suggested that we can use the argument that the present use of the room must be taken into account when the bedroom tax is applied, for other people hit by the bedroom tax. If you are being hit by the bedroom tax please come along to this Thursday’s meeting where we can discuss how to do this. Tell anyone you know who is being affected and please spread the word.

Details of meeting:
12-1.30pm on Thursday 12th June at Southwyck House Community Hall, Moorlands Estate, Moorlands Road, Brixton, SW9 8TT (entrance through the passageway to the right of the red door near the corner with Coldharbour Lane).

Although there will be a focus on the bedroom tax, any other housing or welfare issues are welcome, we will make time for these as well!