Campaign group Kill the Housing Bill held a demonstration on Upper Street in Islington on April 15th.
Supporters of the Labour Party and Green Party gathered outside Islington Town Hall with posters and banners which read: “No Evictions, No Bedroom Tax” and “IHOOPS Islington Hands off Our Public Services.”
A national network of opposition to the Housing and Bill is growing, with Islington leading the way.
Residents of Islington demanded a direct investment in council and other social housing as part of a national house-building programme, and secure tenancies for all, including private renters.
Kill the Housing Bill campaigners are asking to defeat the Housing and Planning Bill, which they say will:
- “Force councils to sell-off existing council homes on the open market when they become empty, with no guaranteed replacement.”
- “Introduce ‘Pay to Pay’ means testing. Council and housing association tenants in Islington could see their rents triple if household income goes up to £40,000 a year.”
- “Push up waiting lists. Islington Council says the number of homes they can make available to people on the waiting list will fall by half.”
- “Reduce secure housing options for people fleeing domestic violence, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.”
According to the campaign group, “On 13th March, 10,000 people demonstrated against the Housing Bill through central London, including hundreds of people from Islington. This is just the start. Many people still do not know about this. The campaign against the Bill is growing and with the government in crisis, we need to take it to the next level and get more people involved.”
Ernestas Jegorovas, 28, a teacher at Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow says: “Some people have to leave their jobs to make sure they can still live in Islington. So, that’s actually a very difficult situation the government has put us all in.
“In terms of the Housing Bill we must defeat it and what has been really positive is the amendments which have already been defeated in the House of Lords. So, I am actually quite positive about the momentum that’s building and the protest taking place here.”
According to Pete Gilman, 68, a pensioner from Islington: “The Tories are introducing this Housing Bill and the main objective is to get rid of the social housing in its entirety and they want an end to Council Housing, and an end to Housing Associations.
“People like me no longer have the right to live in council homes.”