Focus E15 campaign to lead march against housing crisis
This coming Saturday, (31 January 2015), people from across London will march on City Hall to demand solutions to the housing crisis and better housing.
The March for Homes has several assembly points - East London, which starts at 12 noon in Shoreditch, South London, which starts at 12 noon in Elephant & Castle and an accessible short march starting from Potters Field SE1.
The marchers will meet to protest together at City Hall, where a rally will be held from 2pm.
The East London march will be led by Focus E15, a group of mothers best known for their occupation of empty flats on the Carpenters Estate after they were evicted from their hostel and New Era 4 All, who recently prevented US property firm Westbrook taking over their estate and hiking up rents.
The march is supported by a wide range of groups and individuals including tenant organisations, trade unions and housing campaigns, London MPs, London Assembly members and East London councillors.
The gap between incomes and rental prices in East London has widened dramatically in recent years, and in Hackney alone house prices have soared by 596%, pricing out all but the wealthiest residents.
The march is uniting everyone that opposes government and mayoral policies causing soaring rents, loss of social housing and rising homelessness, and is demanding action to end the housing crisis including:
● Rent controls
● Cut rents, not benefits
● Scrap the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap
● Affordable and secure homes for all
● Stop demolishing quality council homes and build new council houses
● Better pay & conditions for housing workers: better housing services
● Stop scapegoating immigrants and end discriminatory immigration checks for tenants
Jasmin Stone, Focus E15 Campaign, said: 'I'm marching because we need to stand together side by side, hand in hand, fighting for decent homes for all! Focus E15 campaign are ready to make some noise on 31 January – please join us as we march through the heart of East London! This is the beginning of the end of the housing crisis.'
Eileen Short, national Chair of Defend Council Housing, said: 'We are taking to the street to show the united demand for urgent action. Tenants from all tenures, public and private, campaigns and trade unions are determined to organise together to resist evictions. The growing housing movement will not swallow hollow promises and more empty luxury housing. The London Mayor and councils must act now to control rents and invest in council housing.'
Alastair Stephens, People's Assembly (London), said: 'Polls show that most people support rent controls, greater regulation of the private rented sector and a return to the mass building of council housing. Only these actions will solve the housing crisis. We will take these demands onto the streets on 31 January.'
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