What can we do to fight the Bedroom Tax?
1. Get organised!
It’s necessary to bring people together to fight together in whatever they do, rather than everyone protesting alone.
2. Lobby councils/councillors not to implement all Housing Benefit cuts including the Bedroom Tax
Get a petition going, visit local councillors’ surgeries, demo outside council buildings etc.
3. Tenants should ALL appeal to adjudication against the Bedroom Tax
Hundreds of thousands appealing at the same time will clog up the system. See Joe Halewood’s advice.
4. Tenants should ask Councils…
…to reassess their decision, to revalue their home, to request more time for a DWP tribunal and apply for Discretionary Housing Payments. (Tenants of some Housing Associations can buy £1 shares and attend board meetings to push policy that HAs should reclassify their properties so that Bedroom Tax does not apply. Private landlords might also be lobbied on this.)
5. Most importantly, prepare for the ultimate physical defence
Build a network of people willing to protect their and their community’s homes against bailiffs & eviction; also to support tenants taken to court. There are a few Facebook groups set up to do just this – one is “Home Guard UK (Bedroom Tax Eviction) (https://www.facebook.com/groups/homeguard.uk/). This a national group that is starting to pull together people on a regional, and then local level who you can contact to help protect your home if an eviction is going to occur. If you can please join and sign your name up on the relevant list.
6. Utilise and network the local press
Get a point of contact with the local rag, local news channels (especially when stuff starts hitting the fan) to ensure coverage of any evictions etc. and generally have a go-to for a sustained and narrative coverage!
7. Create a log of people’s personal stories and how they are being effected
One of the things that the right-wing press do, as seen similarly in recent days is to personalise their agenda with tales of Bob, Jim and Mary who have been affected in this/that way. Offering stats and figures is useful and needed but we need anecdotal personalised people to create a HUMAN face to this…
Ideas supplied mainly by Nick Parker and Phil J and edited a bit by Matthew