Campaigners protest against housing reforms
Dozens of campaigners gathered in Westminster yesterday to lobby MPs against changes to social housing provision.
Campaigners protested outside parliament against the removal of security of tenure, housing benefit caps, funding cuts and the new affordable rent regime.
The protest was organised by umbrella group Housing Emergency, which consists of trade unions, tenants’ federations, council leaders and other campaigners.
Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Frank Dobson spoke at the rally, as did Labour MP and communities and local government select committee chair Clive Betts.
Responding to heckles from campaigners that Labour had not acted to provide more council housing when in power, Mr Betts admitted the previous government should have done more but said it had a ‘brilliant record’ of improving homes under the Decent Homes programme.
Mr Betts said: ‘People who are trying to belittle what the Labour government did are trying to re-write history.’
Ms Lucas had earlier criticised the coalition government for cuts to housing benefit and funding for homes. She said: ‘To make the vulnerable pay the highest price for a deficit that’s got nothing to do with them is plain wrong, it’s outrageous and we should fight it with every step.’