• Making Housing More Affordable
    The UK is embroiled in a housing crisis as there just aren't enough affordable homes to go around. Housing is a Basic need in society and for those who can't afford the increasing prices of housing, results in those being stuck in the private rented sector or being left homeless. The Office for National Statistics reports the average home in England cost an average of 7.8 times a full-time workers salary. The shortage of homes is causing prices in the UK to grow with the average price of a property up 4.2% to £224,144 making the average home unaffordable. Sign the petition to help us create more Affordable homes in the UK.
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    Created by Lucy Carr Picture
  • Save Castle Mill Stream
    Castle Mill Stream is a poorly managed backwater of the Thames in Oxford, a stretch of which is owned by Network Rail, who have no use for the land. However, it currently provides a much-needed home for those who live and work in a city in the midst of a housing crisis. These individuals are currently under threat of eviction, and no promises have been made by any organisation to properly manage the area as residential moorings. Please show your support by signing this petition. To find out more, read our story below. ---- Our Story: We are five resident boaters at Castle Mill Stream that runs alongside the Oxford Canal in Jericho. One of us has lived here 19 years and three of us for 4-6 years. We have been informed that the stretch of bank we are moored on (from the south end of William Lucy Way to opposite Combe Road) belongs to Network Rail. For years they have ignored it, but under pressure from Oxford City Council they put up signs on February 12 and attached letters to our boats on February 21 warning of eviction. In a statement the City Council have welcomed their action, linking boats on Castle Mill Stream to a long list of anti-social behaviours which they say the area has seen "in recent years". They are presumably including a much wider area than where we are moored. Only one incident has occurred on this stretch in the last two years - the presumed arson of an uninhabited plastic boat this winter. The fire service put it out but no-one cleared up the mess until we took half a ton of debris from the burnt hull and from a sunken boat to the dump. We agree that Castle Mill Stream requires proper management to prevent a cycle of abandoned boats appearing. However, we believe that the area and surrounding community is better off for the presence of permanent residential moorings. Stationary live-aboard boats provide the area with individuals who have a vested interest in the safety and upkeep of this otherwise dark corner of central Oxford. Charging mooring fees will prevent boat abandonment and make any anti-social behaviour less likely. The City Council have talked about possible future moorings on this site, perhaps financed by Canal & River Trust, but we are sceptical about how long this could take. We therefore believe that these moorings are best managed by the boaters themselves. This would ensure the area does not fall into further disrepair and attract more abandoned boats while waiting for C&RT to take action. It would also keep moorings affordable, preventing any further strain on the housing situation in Oxford. Official sites such as the Hythe Bridge Arm and the Agenda 21 moorings in North Oxford began as unofficial moorings. We have formed ourselves into a non-profit company, have applied to Network Rail to buy the land, and are preparing a planning application for residential moorings, including floating pontoons, a water tap and a sewage disposal point, all to be financed by our mooring fees.
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    Created by Elliot Smith
  • Adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights for Brighton & Hove
    Brighton & Hove is in the top ten local authorities in the country for numbers of rough sleepers. These are just the ones you can see. There are thousands more people living in tents, cars, boats, hostels, and emergency and temporary accommodation. All people, homeless or not, are free and equal in dignity and rights. But in truth, rough sleepers are treated at best as a problem and at worst as a nuisance to be cleared away. The Homeless Bill of Rights (www.homelessrights.org.uk) tries to make human rights real for those of us who are unfortunate enough to be homeless, by giving them respect, dignity and help in their struggle to survive. The most important right is the right to housing; but at the very least no-one, ever, should be forced to sleep rough. It has been adopted by six European cities including Barcelona. We want Brighton & Hove to become the first British city to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights.
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    Created by Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition
  • Stop housing developers segregating poorer children
    Children in London too poor to play outside with their friends? According to one housing developer - that’s the way it should be. A multi-million pound housing development in London is segregating children based on how much money their parents have. With separate, smaller play areas for children living in affordable housing, these children are blocked from using the main play area the richer children enjoy. London is already segregated enough without developers making it even worse. A children's playground on an estate is a really important space, especially for families in flats. My two children would always be playing with other children in the courtyard of the estate where I live. They formed life-long friendships there. All children should be free to play with their friends - not shut out because they live in affordable housing.
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    Created by Cathy Warren
  • 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.
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    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.
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    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