Archive for December, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Posted on December 25, 2008. Filed under: Housing News |

We would like to wish all our supporters and readers a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. (We would also like to give our thanks to our readers we have just passed 20,000 hits on our website!!)

As we move into 2009, a little weary after 9 weeks of squatting, our hopes and aspirations have not changed. We still feel there is a real need for more social housing in Birmingham.

Over the last 9 weeks we have met some of the many homeless living on the streets of Birmingham and the many agencies that go out in the cold each night to offer friendly support and food. JK is one such person. A 39 year old man who lived in a tent in Cannon Hill Park for 6 months prior to coming to live in our squat.

We have met and spoken to people who have been living in hostels for years who’s only wish is to have a property of their own.  (Like C, a young girl 0f 19 who was kicked onto the streets by an abusive father)

We have met and spoken to many people living in desperately poor housing conditions and over crowding, like Margaret a 20 year old girl with a 3 year old son living in a 3 bed Council property with 11 other people! and residents from the Ingoldsby estate who have been moved into homes that the council knew suffered from damp and mould before they were let.

All these people (Real stories) have one wish for 2009 a home of their own that is warm, dry, and sufficient for their children. Not  much to ask for really.

So what’s planned for 2009? Our campaign will continue. There are many milestones to cross and many other issues to raise.

One of the main issues for us is the GOVERNMENT’S theft of £57 million from Birmingham’s Council tenants rent account to fund other areas in the Country that they choose!! Birmingham needs every penny and more to tackle it’s own problems and over this issue we fully support Councillor John Lines.

The Housing Scrutiny Committee will commence their investigation into the housing issues of Birmingham this year for which we thank Councillor Emily Cox and her committee members for demanding this enquiry.

Private landlords who leave properties vacant for years (like the Firebird) are also in our sights and will be brought to the attention of the public.

Landowners who sit on vacant land for years (Birmingham City Council being the worst offender Cllr Lines!)  will be looked at and highlighted.

All in all we expect it to be a busy year. We will continue the campaign until we see changes in Birmingham which takes homeless people of our streets, takes overcrowded families into suitable homes and sees the start of Council and Socially rented properties being built on empty land.

Watch this space for updates on all of these issues and more, Check out our JNC Video now on site.(2 more to follow!!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

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DEMOLISION THREAT TO FIREBIRD SOCIAL CENTRE

Posted on December 18, 2008. Filed under: Housing News |

Residents living close to the Firebird Social Centre in Bellevue, Edgbaston have received a lettter from the council saying that the owner of the building will be demolishing it starting on 8th January 2009.

Before cleanup work started.

Before cleanup work started.

This is a ” First Stage” victory for JNC there is some way to go…

According to our council sources the owner doesn’t need planning permission but does need to comply with various laws governing demolition.

While JUSTICE NOT CRISIS will be glad to see this dilapidated building go we are concerned that the land will be left empty for another 5 years, the time that it has been since the former pub closed to customers.

We welcome the chance to see new homes for social rent on the site but want to see an agreement in place between the owner and a possible developer before we vacate the building. 

 We also want to see a community Centre incorporated in the agreement for local residents, and particularly the youth in in an attempt to take “bored” youths off the streets and thus reduce the anti sociable behaviour that SOME of the youths are responsible for.

The weeds and rubbish go as the cleanup gets underway!

The weeds and rubbish go as the cleanup gets underway!

As with our decision to leave the Council Land at our previous squats we DO NOT wish to put the owner through the cost of a Court eviction or bailiffs please contact us and we are happy to discuss your plans and requirements for us to leave.

NEWS OF PROPOSALS TO BUY THE LAND HAVE REACHED JNC WATCH THIS SPACE FOR DETAILS…

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STOP PRESS POLICE TRY AN ILLEGAL EVICTION !

Posted on December 11, 2008. Filed under: Housing News |

On Wednesday 10th December a fire broke out in the Firebird. Police and the fire brigade turned up and occupants of the building were asked to leave on safety grounds.

The police assure residents that they would be allowed back into the building when the fire was out. As usual the police true to their word then refused to allow campaigners back into the building saying that it was unsafe as asbestos had been found. They then notified the owner so he could get the building boarded up.

Campaigners weren’t going to give in that easily so when it was found that a side door was still open they just walked back into the building and claimed squatters rights. The  main door was bolted and the other door had been secured under the supervision of the police so the building was back in our control.

At this point the riot squad arrived and in their usual heavy handed way threatened to force entry and physically remove people if they didn’t leave. After having been told that the police don’t have any such powers there was a long wait while it was obvious they were waiting for orders from someone who knows what the law is. They called the fire brigade to make sure the fire was out. The fire officers were allowed into the building to make it safe and duly left happy in the knowledge that all was well.

Having been assured that the building was safe the police also left and the Firebird is now back in  the control of JUSTICE NOT CRISIS.

If you want to pop in please call round for a cuppa, you’ll be made most welcome.

Check out our poll ! and diary of activities SUNDAY 14 DEC 2008 OPEN DAY / CAR BOOT SALE 8AM TO 4 PM.

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