This blog cannot and does not speak for the myriad autonomous anti-bedroom tax groups across merseyside and the UK.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Call out to tenants and tenant networks

The Bedroom Tax affects over 1.6 million people in the UK. From the 1st of April 2013, tenants of housing associations & social landlords will be hit by a possible 25% cut in their housing benefit if they under-occupy their home. This means: 1 spare room will see a 14% reduction in housing benefit; 2 spare rooms will see a 25% reduction in housing benefit. Many tenants will be expected to uproot their families, move away from their communities, their support networks and downsize to properties that simply do not exist; those who decide to stay will be constantly battling to make up the shortfall in rent. This should not be a question of move or stay; it should be about refusing to pay the tax full stop.

Yet, State and landlord ultimatums of ‘stay & pay’ or ‘move’ have disempowered tenants and landed the blame of a fictitious housing crisis at their doorsteps. Housing Associations (HA’s) wasted time lobbying a political Men’s club immersed in escalating the divide between the rich and the poor. Instead of flatly rejecting the Bedroom Tax in defence of tenants, HA’s petitioned those in power to be ‘reasonable’ —a petition that smacked of complicity. That complicity continues as HA’s now prepare to implement and collect the Bedroom Tax for their own ends and the governments.

Social Housing is being privatised; it’s written all over the faces of the ministers and chief executives who in the same turn ‘console’ tenants who are self-evicting or who will eventually be evicted. This is nothing other than contempt for tenants and we, as tenants, must make a stand against this contemptible tax and its architects.

We argue that a stand now against the Bedroom Tax, based on solidarity and direct action, will put down roots of resistance to allow us to better defend ourselves against a broader attack that extends well beyond 2013. Refusing to pay is a big step for tenants to take, but by standing together we will be stronger and can support each other. If we do nothing now, the repercussions of the Bedroom Tax will cause greater hardship & increased evictions in the run-up to the implementation of Universal Credit.

If you're combating the bedroom tax, then let us know. Working together makes us stronger.

Liverpool Tenants Saying No to the Bedroom Tax

At the beginning of January, around 100 tenants attended the Defend Your Home Against the Bedroom Tax public meeting at the Black-E Community/Arts Centre in Liverpool.

Tenants at the meeting were rightly furious over the Bedroom Tax and the complicity of Housing Associations in its implementation. Tenants will have to find around a £1000 a year from April to plug the cut in Housing Benefit, something that is simply unaffordable for people also facing a cut in Council Tax Support and the benefit cap. There are over 700,000 empty homes that could be brought back into use, but the government prefers to kick people out of their homes instead to pave the way for the private sector to move in.  The message from the meeting was loud and clear:


With less than 3 months to go before the Bedroom Tax kicks in, we must move fast. And we are! Regular meetings have already been set up to organize resistance against the tax and February will see 2 actions taking place in Liverpool to let Housing Associations know that we, as tenants, will not be bullied or harassed:

Thursday 7th February - Ruckus at Liverpool Mutual Homes

Housing Associations have been complicit in the implementation of the Bedroom Tax since Day 1, and none more so than Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) who manage 15,000 homes in the City.

As well as issuing mind-numbing advice to tenants about the Bedroom Tax, the Chief Exec. of LMH, Steve Coffey, is even proposing the idea of getting tenants to do unpaid work, or workfare, to make up the shortfall in their rent:

Make no bones about it, LMH won't hesistate to start legal proceedings if they can't collect the rent. They've even been to court over the treatment of their staff. That's why we, as tenants, need to make it known to LMH that we won't take any bullying or harassment.

Invite your family, friends, neighbours and community to the Ruckus at Liverpool Mutual Homes on Thurs 7th February and let's make sure LMH get the message:

We Can't Pay and We Won't Pay!

Bring Banners & Noise!

Facebook event page:

Thursday 28th February - Stand Up for Social Housing in Bootle!

A demonstration at One Vision Housing to let the people of Bootle air their views and let out their frustration about bedroom tax for those who claim benefits and live in social housing such as that of one vision and riverside housing.

We will meet at the One Vision Office in Caspian Place (off Stanley Road) and if numbers permit we can march down to the council offices at the front of the strand with support of taxi drivers hooting and drummers drumming!!

Facebook event page:
We also need to connect with tenant networks around the country who are taking or considering a no-payment stance.

Please get in touch at

This is not the time for lobbying or petitioning. These methods will only disempower us.

The only option we have left is Direct Action: taking matters into our own hands and defending the homes we live in using a diversity of tactics.

Say NO! and Combat the Bedroom Tax!
Combat the Bedroom Tax FB page:
Combat the Bedroom Tax e-mail: