Jeremy Corbyn at Burston speech | 6th September

Unite Cambridge Community ran the Solidarity picnic which made £125 for the Cambridge Calais Refugee Action Network

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Social Housing – Not Social Cleansing | Demo Saturday 1st August Haart Mill Road

Letting agents in Cambridge are ripping off tenants charging massive fees for tenancy agreements. These include extras for more than one person, meaning couples or families pay more for the same house. Fees for getting a guarantor (these are required for those on low wages who are suffering from preposterous rents), fees to extend an existing contract. And same of the worst charge for letters, phone calls and even texts. One agent even charges ex-tenants for getting overpaid rent returned! We believe this is disgraceful and will be demonstrating outside Haart on Mill Road from 12.30pm on Saturday 1st of August. This is the start of our campaign.
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Dozens turn up for Belvoir protest

Around 40 people made it on Saturday (23r May) to demonstrate against Belvoir after having sent their tenants an email prior to the general election threatening them if they voted Labour with ‘Homelessness‘!

Sweeny1Members and supporters were also protesting against the obscene agent fees and Belvoir’s policy of encouraging by-to let investors to buy up houses and rent out individual rooms at excessive prices, one room in Chesterton they are currently advertising for is £795 for a room in a house share!

Cllr Kevin Price head of Housing, Cambridge City Council addresses the demo.
Cllr Kevin Price head of Housing, Cambridge City Council addresses the demo.

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Newly elected MP Daniel Zeicher did not manage to make the demo as he had a prior commitment but sent the demo his best wishes and the following statement was read on his behalf,

“Cambridge is a city where nearly half the residents rent their homes, which is not surprising when the average terraced house now costs a staggering £445,000.

As MP housing is one of my top priorities and I will be working closely with Cambridge City Council which is building council homes, press for more and fight ill-thought out Conservative plans to sell off housing association stock.

I was deeply shocked when during the election campaign Belvoir lettings emailed tenants to say Labour’s policies would be  “extremely detrimental”, when our policies are designed to stand up for people renting their homes by guaranteeing longer term tenancies with predictable rents and banning rip-off letting agent fees on tenants.

People renting in Cambridge who want a place to call home can be assured that they have an MP who is on their side.” ​

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Richard Allday of Unite executive addresses the rally.

 

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Thanks to Charlotte Bence and Richard Allday from Unite London and Eastern for supporting us also.

 

Statement on Cambridge Housing Crisis

IMAG0107The housing crisis in Cambridge is out of all control. Private rents rocket as incomes fall in real terms. With 7,000 people on the councils housing waiting list getting a secure council home is a dream for many people on low and medium incomes. Meanwhile Cambridge has become a byword for an unsustainable housing bubble, the £413,383 average cost to buy a house in Cambridge is 17.5 times the average wage in the city. For all but the wealthiest or thrifty this is something most simply can never conceive of.

The Cambridge Property Exhibition is showing two figures up to Cambridge’s citizens. Mimicking the London style property shows that advertise safe investments for millionaires abroad leaving the ordinary people priced out. Unite the Union believes housing should be a basic right, not a tradable asset for the rich to profiteer off the rest of society. Yet this government has presided over a massive expansion of exactly that. We now know that one third of all houses sold off by the right to buy are now in the hands of greedy landlords renting them out at two to three times what council tenants pay. This Exhibition is a deliberate provocation by the estate agents, banks and lawyers against the citizens of Cambridge. That is why we say no more.
Cambridge Unite Community along with others is demanding everyone should have a roof over their head at a real affordable price.
We demand:
A rolling program of council house building until the waiting list of is cut to zero
A ban on rogue letting agents charging fees to tenants
Rent controls linked to incomes
A council home for everyone that needs one
A stop to property developers building unsustain unaffordable houses
A ban on estate agents advertising houses outside the city

About us – Cambridge Unite Community

Unite Cambridge Community Union is part of a national network of groups that form part of the Unite trade union. We are a campaigning organisation, which believes in solidarity and direct action:

Pay, Working Conditions, Incomes, Housing, Health, Benefits, Education and Legal Services are all under attack.

We are fighting back and offer active support to people in low-paid jobs, volunteers, interns, apprentices, people who have problems with their employers, or their landlords, or who are facing eviction, or are having probFeatured imagelems obtaining the benefits they are entitled to receive.

Organising and activism are at the centre of strong communities, which is why Unite’s community membership provides a way people can find and use their political voice. Whether it is taking a stand against a service closure or coming together to fight low-pay, zero hours contracts, rent increases, evictions or improving our environment, as a community member, Unite will be on your side.

Contact:

Find us on Facebook: Unite Cambridge Community branch

Email: cambridgeunitecommunity@zoho.com

Unite’s Community Union Membership is open to all not in permanent full-time employment.

The Community Union exists to bring the benefit of trade union membership to people who are not in permanent full-time paid employment. These include, legal support, debt counselling, welfare benefit entitlement check. Free personal accident cover.

Read more about Unite on the Unite website:

www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/communitymembership/

Anti-cuts rally held at Cambridge Job Centre

Activists from Unite the Union and other local anti-cuts organisations held a rally outside the DWP office on Chesterton Road at lunchtime.

Around 30 activists held up banners against benefFeatured imageit sanctions for those on Job Seekers’ Allowance, and gave out leaflets about the Unite petition to end benefit sanctions.

The rally was part of a national day of action organised by the union across the country.

Unite activist Jo Robbins said, “What we’re seeing with this punitive measure is people arbitrarily being punished for not attending interviews which are simply an exercise in box-ticking.

“It is the demonisation of those who are too ill to work or simply are unable to find work.

“Unite believes that those who are unable to work or who are looking for a job should be supported and given dignity by the welfare state.

“This government is determined to destroy it and we will fight against them all the way.”

More information can be found here.