People’s Agenda profile 14: Leeds Hands Off Our Homes

Winning Bedroom Tax appeals, organising large demonstrations and building support networks is the work of Leeds Hands Off Our Homes, they explain in this fourteenth profile in our People's Agenda series

April 18, 2015 · 3 min read

LeedsHOOH

peoples agenda ‘Our strategy was to organise the most affected neighbourhoods, supporting people there to self-organise, collectively refusing to pay. We created a small network of affected tenants and supporters, had large demonstrations and have been supporting tenants legally, in court and through signposting. ‘

HOOH originally campaigned against private finance initiative (PFI) housing in Leeds. In late 2012 we re-formed to oppose the ‘bedroom tax’, which affected over 6000 Leeds households. Our initial demands were for no bedroom tax charges, no evictions and more council housing.

Our strategy was to organise the most affected neighbourhoods, supporting people there to self-organise, collectively refusing to pay. We created a small network of affected tenants and supporters, had large demonstrations and have been supporting tenants legally, in court and through signposting.

Our pressure has made a difference in preventing evictions, winning some bedroom tax appeals and enabling more tenants to access temporary help with rent. The growing levels of poverty and insecurity for claimants needs a broader campaign; we are working to build a coalition of groups under the name Leeds Welfare Fightback to campaign and give support around cuts, sanctions, workfare and employment misery. Our demands:


– Repeal Welfare Reform Act 2012; Reverse local authorities’ welfare cuts; Build enough appropriate social/council housing to meet demand, at genuinely affordable rents; establish effective rent controls in the private sector

– End discrimination against young people and non-UK nationals in the benefits system

– End all sanctions, work capability assessments and forced labour; significantly increase the level of in-work and out-of-work benefits so that refusing unsuitable work is a genuine option.

– Less work for more pay, so that everyone can have flourishing lives.

To find out more visit: Leeds Hands Off Our Homes facebook page

Red Pepper are running the People’s Agenda series in the run up to the General Election, demonstrating the breadth of exciting grassroots political activity in the UK.

Join Red Pepper for our free event on 22 April in London- Beyond the Ballot Box: Ways we can Win.


The Socialist Olympics of 1936

Radical workers’ sporting organisations and the 1936 People’s Olympiad illustrate the role of sport in fighting oppression, writes Uma Arruga i López.

Review – You’re History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music

Lesley Chow argues for a new kind of music criticism that re-evaluates women musicians and "meaningless" music, writes Rhian E Jones

Lying through their legacy-speak

Olympic ‘legacy’ has greased the path for enormous, upward transfer of wealth to the global propertied classes, writes Jules Boykoff


SWexit: What are exit schemes for sex workers missing?

If earning money is a fundamental reason for entering the sex industry, it is also essential to leaving it, writes Marin Scarlett.

Failure to deliver

Major financial institutions have cited Deliveroo’s employment practices for its disastrous public share launch. Alice Martin and Tom Powdrill look at what went wrong and what it might mean for workers’ rights

Power on the picket line: remembering the Burnsall Strike

Almost 30 years on, Sarbjit Johal recalls supporting the strike, which consisted of mostly Punjabi women workers

Want to try Red Pepper before you take out a subscription? Sign up to our newsletter and read Issue 231 for free.