News from March for Homes
- March for Aylesbury 14 March demands end to London clearance of council homes
Tenants and housing campaigners are marching from the threatened Aylesbury estate in south London, to demand homes are refurbished and not demolished.
Many tenant groups, along with private renters and other housing campaigns, will join the March for Aylesbury. Across London 70+ estates face demolition and redevelopment with loss of council and housing association homes for rent.
Fears of further widespread demolition of council homes in Southwark, mean growing support for the 14 March protest. Tenants are demanding refurbishment of the 2,400 homes on Aylesbury. On the neighbouring Heygate Estate at Elephant and Castle 1,200 demolished homes are being replaced with 2,400 new homes unaffordable to most, including only 79 social rented.
An occupation of flats which started in an emptied Aylesbury block, continues with wide support on the estate and beyond. Following a second possession order the occupiers have now decamped to another empty block and have taken control of ex-council offices in Chiltern, on the corner of Albany Road and Portland Street SE17.
Aylesbury tenants often face higher rents and loss of secure tenancies whether they move or want to remain on the redeveloped estate. In 2001 Aylesbury tenants voted overwhelmingly to remain in their council homes, and against demolition, by 73% on a 73% turnout. Tenants and leaseholders are demanding respect for the ballot result, and a halt to demolition plans. They want the estate refurbished instead.
Loss of council homes, combined with benefit cuts and failure to build new council homes for rent, mean a whole generation are now forced into over-priced private renting, with no security and few rights.
Aysen Dennis of Aylesbury Tenants and Leaseholders First says:
We all want secure council homes we can afford, in a community that works. Demolition means loss of all that, replaced with more homes for the better off. With 21,000 on Southwarks housing waiting list, we need more council homes, not this social cleansing.
Alastair Stephens of South London Peoples Assembly says:
We need a change of direction in Londons housing policy, to control rents and ensure affordable, secure homes for all. With homelessness rising fast and evictions at record levels, we need to maintain and build new council homes, not give away precious land and homes to private developers.
Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing says:
A new housing movement is rising, to demand action on housing. Aylesbury is the latest front line of the fight to defend Londons council homes and communities - we need council housing, not more developer-led market housing deals.
March for Aylesbury assembles 12 noon Saturday 14 March Burgess Park, Albany Rd/Old Kent Rd SE5 0DS
Leaflet: download here
Facebook Event: March for Aylesbury and Southwark Defend Council Housing
March for Aylesbury, called by Defend Council Housing and supported by Generation Rent, South London Peoples Assembly, Unite Housing Workers LE1111, Unite LE 1339, University of Arts London Students Union, London GMB Young Members, Focus E15 Campaign, Our West Hendon, Digs (Hackney Renters), London Green Party, Lewisham People Before Profit, Grenfell Action Group, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
And these organisations in Southwark: Trades Council, Alvey TRA, Aylesbury Tenants and Leaseholders First, 35% Campaign, Unison, UCATT and NUT, Peoples Republic of Southwark, Disabled People Against Cuts, Benefit Justice Campaign, Save our Services, TUSC, Pensioners Action Group, RMT Jubilee South