A 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
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.
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
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/