Over 80 people slept in tents on the pavement and held banners outside Southwark Council’s Tooley street headquarters last week to protest against the Government’s Housing Bill, writes Norah Lindsay…
They fear the changes would result in less affordable homes for the people who need it the most.
Changes to the Housing Bill included residents with lifelong tenancies being scrapped and new residents of council houses being capped or reviewed every five years.
The protests attracted support from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green party politicians, including Baroness Jenny Jones, Councillor Richard Livingstone and Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, the Mayor of Southwark.
Labour Councillor, Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing, believes the new measures will have a detrimental effect on the area.
He said that the caps to the benefits would have a significant effect on families’ lives and changes to the ‘Pay to Stay’ policy would inevitably force some families out of the borough.
The Bill had already suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords during the week preceding the demonstration.
The organisers, Southwark Defend Council Housing, said: “We were very pleased with the turnout and the breadth of support for the Campaign to Kill the Housing Bill.”
The protest against the Government was part of a larger movement taking place across boroughs all over London, including a march from the Imperial War Museum towards Downing Street.