• Build Social Housing on the site of St Peters car park
    1. SOCIAL HOUSING NEED: Winchester has become an increasingly unaffordable place to live, especially for those on whom the everyday functioning of the City depends. The City Council had a good record of council house building until the Right to Buy and deliberate central government policy to deter investment in social housing. The replacement policy of building property for rent as part of commercial development processes, was based on the notion of ‘affordable’ house provision. In a place like Winchester the criterion for affordable property, that it should be leased at 80% of commercial rent, meant that it was not affordable at all for those most in need. Central government has, moreover, reduced the availability of ‘affordable housing’ through its concessions to the dubious ‘viability’ claims of the developers. A well known local architect has produced a capacity study which shows that the site could accommodate 14 x 2-bedroom units and 11 x 1-bedroom units on the space currently allocated for car parking. These type plans are based on ones devised by Peter Barber Architects which are built & occupied on 2 London sites. 2. Use of 'Brownfield' to PRESERVE GREEN OPEN SPACE: Recently, WCC has invested in a limited amount of new social housing, but it has so far achieved this at the expense of important urban open space (at Hillier Way in Abbotts Barton and expected in the Valley at Stanmore). ‘Brownfield’ is supposed to be the land of first choice for development and St Peter’s car park is an appropriate area. 3. St. Peter’s Car Park was ONLY ever intended to be TEMPORARY: It was built on the site of St Peter’s Primary School in the mid 1980s. St Peter’s School was demolished and turned into a temporary car park while the Brooks Development car park was being constructed. WCC always asserted that it would close once the Brooks opened. That promise is 30 years old. At each new provision of Park and Ride car park capacity WCC undertook to the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency, to remove an equivalent amount of central car parking capacity. Of the 1654 spaces thus promised for closure only 178 have gone, through the forced demolition of the ageing Friarsgate multistorey. The Winchester Town Access Plan (WTAP) 2011 promised an initial removal of 500 spaces. It is time to keep promises. 4. There is a PRECEDENT for this kind of conversion with the loss of car parking in Chesil Street to housing. 5. AIR POLLUTION would be REDUCED: Both Councils recognise that Winchester remains significantly in breach of air quality legislation and this is indeed one of the reasons for the Movement Strategy proposing traffic reduction. St Peter’s Car Park is on the central circulation system and is thus a traffic attractor to the centre. It is, moreover, immediately adjacent to St Bede’s Primary School and worrying air pollution levels have been demonstrated there. WHY NOW? (a) the need for more social housing is URGENT (b) WINCHESTER MOVEMENT STRATEGY: Winchester City Council (WCC) and Hampshire County Council (HCC) have published a draft Movement Strategy for Winchester which explicitly recognises the need to reduce traffic in the City and points to the need to remove central car parking. These proposals have received widespread support during public consultation. The Movement Strategy needs to be activated or it is in danger of fading away like previous plans (e.g. the WTAP) but is not so far displaying any sense of urgency and hesitates over uncertainty of funding. Since there is adequate Park and Ride capacity available now and underused edge-of-centre car parking capacity, there is no particular funding difficulty in relation to transport budgets. (c) FAILURE TO MEET AIR POLLUTION LEGISLATION: WCC has an urgent need to address its legal failure to meet air pollution legislation. It has been in an illegal state for more than 9 years and last year’s High Court and Supreme Court rulings were that authorities should meet their obligations in the shortest possible time, stressing that that meant no excuses of convenience or cost. You can find more info about this campaign with many more photos on our website here: https://winchester.greenparty.org.uk/social-housing.html Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/winchestergreenparty/
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    Created by Max Priesemann Picture
  • Learn the lessons from Grenfell - make our housing system work for tenants
    We lost our loved ones, our neighbours and our homes in the Grenfell Tower fire. One of the things that makes the heartbreak so difficult is knowing that some of us raised concerns about safety before the fire but we were ignored. And today, over a year and a half since the tragedy, people living in social housing are still so often ignored and mistreated when they raise issues. With your help we want to change this. We are calling for the Government to create a new housing regulator that works for tenants. Please sign this petition to support us. The current housing regulator, is focused is on keeping housing associations in profit. It’s not enough. We need a new independent regulator that puts people before profit. After the banking crisis the Government set up the Financial Conduct Authority to look after consumers interests and after the food crisis it set up the Food Standards Agency to protect customers. It’s time for the same approach for housing. This summer the Government will publish its plans for the future of social housing in a White Paper, so we have just a few months to send a clear message: People living in social housing deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They need a regulator that will fight for them, not just for their landlords. Please help us, sign this petition and let’s send a message that Grenfell has not been forgotten and make sure that the loss of 72 lives leads to real change for people across the country.
    59,530 of 75,000 Signatures
    Created by Grenfell United
  • Do not cut support to rough sleepers
    This is important because no one needs to be sleeping rough here. The council has a duty of care to every human being A home is a basic need Until a person has ‘a home’ they cannot move on to the next stage of rebuilding their life and participating in society. Providing a home for people will ‘pay for itself’ further down the line as people are able to contribute to the Economy once they are part of it. Am excluded person is costly! Help them!
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    Created by Nicole Murphy
  • Scrap plans to cut help for rough sleepers in West Sussex
    West Sussex council’s proposal to cut help for rough sleepers by £4m will have drastic consequences - more lives will be lost. By 2020, the money the council spends on housing support services for rough sleepers, victims of domestic abuse, care leavers, and vulnerable elderly people, will decrease from £6.3 million to £2.3 million. Years of under-investment by West Sussex County Council in social housing, social care and mental health services have resulted in increasing numbers of homeless people, many sleeping rough in parks, shop doorways and in beach shelters. At a time when funding desperately needs to be increased, West Sussex County Council is proposing even greater cuts. The council needs to reverse its decision and make sure these services are protected for the future.
    2,395 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Walter Wiltshire
  • Scotland needs proper rent controls
    Renters in Scotland are suffering. Across the country, sky-high rents are forcing people into poverty and far too many tenants are living in slum-like conditions. We used to have rent controls to protect people from exactly this situation - until Thatcher scrapped them in the 80s - and now it’s time to bring them back. In 2016, the Scottish Government brought in so-called “Rent Pressure Zones” to try to tackle high rents, but these have failed. No council has been able to use them, and the evidence suggests it wouldn’t help even if they did. Now we need to bring in proper, nationwide rent controls. You can read more about the campaign and what rent controls would mean here: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17447397.campaigners-call-for-scotland-wide-rent-controls-to-help-tenants/
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    Created by Emma Saunders
  • Stop the housing association sell-offs
    This month, 56 desperately needed social rented homes are due to be sold-off at auction by housing associations, so called 'social landlords'. 15 being sold by Housing association, Peabody, including 17 Robinson Road, a refurbished 2-bedroom home in Bethnal Green, with a reserve price of £730,000. Right now, there are 4,500 people on the Tower Hamlets waiting list for a home like this. They're the people Peabody are supposed to help. Last year, Peabody made a profit of £175 million, while paying their Chief Executive £278,750.
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    Created by Glyn Robbins Picture
  • Save the Saving People Shelter – Persons Unknown v the NHS
    In November 2018 local people entered an old GP surgery owned by the NHS and left empty for 9 years to provide life- saving shelter for homeless people at risk of dying on the street. The Shelter provides a bed, warmth and food for up to 15 residents. Since opening it has supported residents to access health care, mental health services, help for drug and alcohol, benefits, training and employment. It has successfully found move on accommodation for many and NOT ONE of its residents has left to the street. In December 2018, the NHS issued court proceedings to evict the shelter and its residents, claiming they want to sell the building on the open market and that the Council and GMCA have told them that they will not support the Shelter staying open, as they already have enough accommodation for all. On 31st January 2019 an outright possession order was made and the NHS planned to evict the residents with High Court bailiffs on 4th February 2019. The Judge refused to allow residents to be named in the proceedings – they therefore remain “Persons Unknown”. However, on 1st February, a Judge granted a stay of execution pending the Shelter’s appeal. This is only a temporary reprieve and the threat of eviction is still very real. Most of the residents fear that even if offered temporary accommodation in a church hall, night shelter or far away Bed and Breakfast, they will end up back on the streets, because the accommodation is not suitable for their needs. The eviction and the closure of the Shelter can be avoided if the NHS, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Salford City Council, Andy Burnham and GMCA have the will to save it. We all know there isn’t accommodation for every homeless person that needs it and that the accommodation that is in place doesn’t meet every homeless person’s needs. This successful Shelter has been set up by local and homeless people working together finding a way to save lives and end homelessness. It is grass roots, community led, and has homeless people at its heart. Please show your support by signing our petition.
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    Created by Jannah Speat Picture
  • Reject the planning application for the development of Finn House, Hoxton, London
    Our arguments against the proposed development are many and varied, and include, but are not limited to the following: - The designs are extremely poor, and do not comply on numerous counts, to GLC guidance (including no provision of lifts, no play areas, no significant outdoor space, a front door that is restricted and unsafe, insufficient waste storage). - Restriction of daylight (to the flats on the current top floor, to flats opposite on both sides, and to those on the ground floor due to the proposed new bike sheds). - The detrimental effect on the character of the area. Finn House was built in the 1930's, and is a classic example of the architecture of the time, having survived bombing during the 2nd world war. But additionally, to build a 5th floor would make it taller than even the newest developments opposite, and fail to take into account the precedent set by these major planning applications. - We were not consulted or informed about the planning proposals by the freeholder, until after they had already submitted the planning application. Even then, they made no effort to consult leaseholders direct - only tenants actually living in the building. - The disruption to tenants and leaseholders (some of whom have lived in Finn House since it was built in the 1930's) will be extreme, both during the construction and afterwards. More details of our objections have been raised in our individual online oppositions.
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    Created by Poppy Dixon
  • Guarantee the future of our independent tenants’ movement in Southwark
    The tenant’s movement in Southwark will exist in name only if we are reliant on Southwark councillors to approve our funding. At a time when Southwark is undergoing unprecedented levels of regeneration such as in the Old Kent Road, and when Labour have a massive majority on the council, this seems like a blatant attempt to silence all potential critics of council plans. The tenants’ movement in Southwark – our Tenants and Residents Associations (TRAs), our Area Forums, our Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ Councils and our tenants federation (the SGTO) – all play a vital role in holding Southwark Council to account. Southwark Council is our landlord and we need the freedom to criticise them when necessary and to campaign on behalf of residents without fear of having our funding withdrawn. The recommendation to change the funding structure is part of a raft of attacks on tenants which came from the Resident Involvement Panel - a panel of handpicked individual residents and paid employees of the council which was set up without the involvement of any existing tenant organisations. This whole process was a sham and Southwark Labour should immediately reassure Southwark residents that they will reject these recommendations. We demand our right to have access to our own money, to fund our own representative organisations, and to have our voices heard.
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    Created by Southwark Tenants Movement
  • Saving Our Shelter
    We are currently in occupation of 169 Church Street, Eccles, Salford, M30 0LU. We are working alongside Salford Unemployment and Community Resource Centre and the Broughton Trust to use the building to house the homeless and help them get back on their feet. The building has been empty for many years yet they want to kick 15 to 20 homeless people out onto the street and leave the building yet again empty. We are willing to give them rent too. Please help by signing our petition to let us stay. If they kick us out that will mean 3 people we have just got employment will end up back on the streets. 4 people we have just got on courses will also be on the streets too. The rest of the homeless we are helping to get back on their feet will also be on the streets.
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    Created by Stuart Potts Picture
  • Help To Abolish Bedroom Tax
    We are expected to pay the Spare Room Subsidy (Bedroom Tax) if we have a spare bedroom in the property that we rent. This means that people renting social housing, who often have the lowest incomes, are expected to live in a property which has only one bedroom per occupant, with children of the same birth sex being forced to share a bedroom until they are 16 years old. I am a transsexual man. I pay bedroom tax so my two daughters can have separate bedrooms and personal space as they go through the awkward teenage years. It is a huge insult to me that I am given equal human rights as a transsexual but that I have to pay a tax because of my children's sex. We initially had to move out of a three bedroom property when the tax was introduced, which caused us great distress and placed me into debt. The smaller property that we moved into suffered rising damp and we lost many possessions and furniture due to the poor quality of this cheap housing. Once some of my debt was paid, I changed the way our income was spent and we were able to move to a much better property but are paying bedroom tax again and I am in financial debt again. If this petition gains enough signatures, I risk loosing my privacy as a trans man. However, as my children get older, as they move out and start their adult lives- I still have to pay the bedroom tax, which means that I'll have to move house yet again. I find myself in debt every time this happens. It stops me from having any security with housing. If I have a job in one place and have to move again because I can't afford the bedroom tax, I can potentially loose my job. Any consistency I could create with a solid, long-term address is destroyed. I have been unable to maintain strong social connections because of changing address and since I have to focus my low income on our basic needs, I cannot support local business as much as I'd like to. Every time I move I need to refurnish our home, meaning that our situation never upgrades. It's a fight for some people to maintain basic needs at all. Moving home can force children into attending a different school. With children of different ages, as the eldest moves out, the younger siblings may have to move house so the family can avoid bedroom tax, which could damage their education. My children deserve a good solid foundation in life so they can have a great start as young adults, and adults like myself have the right to a secure lifestyle. Please sign this petition, the end of Bedroom Tax can only be beneficial to all of us. Window Tax was repealed in Britain in 1851. To this day we see old properties with bricked up windows, as a result of residents avoiding tax. It is a cruelty to force us into moving home to avoid this current Bedroom Tax. Please sign this petition and make the British Government see what a mistake they are making by continuing to enforce the Spare Room Subsidy.
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    Created by Volk Bowie Picture
  • True recording of homeless deaths
    2,627 people have died homeless in the last five years - but the true figure is much higher.
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    Created by Liam Byrne Picture
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