Friday, January 13, 2017

Housing crisis: 'It is not enough for Christians to provide food banks'

https://bw-b7fede84c2be02ccb9c77107956560eb-bwcore.s3.amazonaws.com/articles/tapapap1484257654.jpgA group of campaigners held a protest in the Old Palace Yard, outside Parliament on Monday as MPs returned after the Christmas break, ringing a bell to raise the alarm over the housing crisis.

3.5 million adults in the UK are homeless, 73,000 household in temporary accommodation, evictions are rising dramatically and the housing needs of the disabled are often ignored. 

Working people as well as those on benefits are struggling to pay rents in a chaotic housing market with unfair caps on housing allowances, benefits and the bedroom tax.

The group which included members of Housing Justice, Taxpayers Against Poverty, Unite Community, DPAC, Defend Council Housing and others are calling for an immediate rent freeze for a year in all sectors private, registered social landlords and councils, while rent regulations are brought in.

They 
also want landowners to pay an annual ground rent to the government, to force the use of unused land and empty property. Builders' land banks own 600,000 plots of unused land. 

They cannot put land in an overseas tax - free Bank - with the abolition of council tax, business rates, stamp duty and the gradual reduction of VAT and income tax.

Rev Paul Nicholson a retired vicar, long-time anti-poverty campaigner, and founder of Taxpayers Against Poverty told ICN: "The poorest citizens of the UK are caught in a vicious trap between shredded benefit incomes and rising rents which inevitably create, debt eviction, homelessness, hunger and ill-health. It's not enough for Christians to provide food banks. Our faith requires us to engage in efforts to change the unreasonably harsh and unjust laws which fail to provide adequate incomes and affordable housing and therefore make people ill. "

Watch Rev Nicholson's address outside Parliament here: https://vimeo.com/198834248
See the address by Fred Harrison director of the Land Research Trust here: https://vimeo.com/198902735

 
Read more about Taxpayers Against Poverty here: http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/

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