Over 160 tenants and trade unionists joined forces at a Camden Benefit Justice meeting in London on Thursday of this week. They included parents and many disabled people.
They are determined to fight and stop the vicious benefit cuts that are already causing evictions, poverty and despair.
Families who will lose more than £300 a week through the benefit cap talked about the growing desperation across the borough. One autistic boy is regressing because of a forced move out of borough.
“I have two bedrooms, and my two children stay with me at weekends and in the school holidays,” said one tenat from Somers Town. “Is it right I must pay the Bedroom tax?”
And some 761 Camden families will be relocated up to 200 miles out of London, according to council plans revealed this week.
The meeting resolved to act quickly, with a march through Camden on 23 March. They want to build pressure on the council and other landlords not to evict anyone who falls behind on their rent because of the benefit cuts. People demanded again and again that councillors stand up and say no to the government.
“Housing workers don't want to evict any tenant in arrears due to housing benefit cuts,” said Liz Wheatley, Chair of Primrose Hill Court tenants’ association and the Unison union’s deputy convenor of Camden housing shop stewards. “We need to build a campaign to make sure they don't.”
The national Campaign for Benefit Justice has called a summit event on 9 March in central London, bringing together tenants, disabled people, trade unions, the unpaid and the low paid as one national voice to end the war on the poor. The campaign is supported by the PCS and Unite unions, tenants and community organisations, Defend Council Housing, Disabled People Against Cuts, Right to Work and Unite the Resistance.
Benefit Justice Summit 11am-4pm University of London Union, Malet St WC1E 7HY