HAPPY NEW YEAR.
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.