Branch Secretary : suz.muna.unite@gmail.com
  

Butterfields tenants win

 

We will not move

 

Tenants on the Butterfields estate in Walthamstow, east London, have secured a victory against the housing crisis. They collectively said 'we will not move' and they will now be able to stay in their homes.

 

After almost a year's campaigning they will now be able to stay in their homes as the property developer owner has agreed to sell to Dolphin housing.  The estate had been owned by a charity and the homes were run as social housing.  The charity sold the homes to a private landlord who seized the opportunity to make a killing.

 

Housing association deregulation

 

Our branch actively supported the tenants in their campaign and members will remember they sent a speaker to our branch.  It is an important example that resistance can win.  As part of the move to deregulate housing associations, the new housing act removes the requirement on housing associations to seek consent from the HCA when they sell off or change the tenure of social housing; in future they will have the same ‘freedom’ as the previous owners of the Butterfields estate.

 

Linda Taaffe, secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council and Socialist Party member, said: “These tenants have shown that when we fight we can win – even in the face of the horrendous housing crisis. Over the last year there has been a non-stop show of organised opposition.

 

Regular street meetings

“Early on the tenants got organised in a Tenants and Residents Association. There were regular street meetings. The first action was to disrupt estate agent auctions where the homes were being sold and to appeal to buyers not to participate in the eviction of these families. More recently there have been successful tours by tenants and supporters to appeal to estate agents not to handle these properties.



“Tenants spoke to shadow chancellor John McDonnell and secured his support in exposing the role of RBS in the sales of these families’ homes.

“This is a magnificent win. The main lesson is that by not moving and organising collectively this housing crisis can be beaten.”

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