Renters Reform Bill
In April 2019, Theresa May announced plans to reform private renting in England, in what was hailed as “the biggest change to the private rental sector for a generation.”
Since then, ACORN has been working within the Renters Reform Coalition, alongside Shelter, Citizens’ Advice, the Nationwide Foundation and others, campaigning to make the Renters Reform Bill is as transformative and positive for renters as possible.
As part of the campaign so far ACORN members have attended parliament to speak to MPs about our proposals. We have addressed the Institute for Government and Public Policy with our platform and members have also met with Eddie Hughes, the Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
As a first co-ordinated action, members rallied in the constituencies of MPs who hold key ministerial positions or chair key parliamentary committees and groups, calling on them to use their influence to shape the bill to provide the change renters need and deserve.
In March 2023, over 150 ACORN members from across the country joined others from the Renters Reform Coalition at Parliament for a 'Renters Day of Action' - lobbying MPs, and securing a commitment from housing minister Rachel Maclean to bring forward the Bill before Autumn 2023.
The Renters Reform Bill was finally introduced into Parliament in May 2023, and included plans to abolish section 21 'no fault evictions,' the introduction of a public landlord register and greater resources for local authorities to enforce standards. As the Bill moves through Parliament, we will be mobilising to make sure this delivers the changes England's renters need. Check back soon for updates...
Boot the Bailiffs
It was recently reported that two million people have been contacted by bailiffs during the cost of living crisis, with 3 in 4 people contacted by bailiffs saying it affected their mental health and left them feeling unsafe in their homes due to the intimidation and harassment deployed.
That's why ACORN is campaigning against councils using bailiffs to collect council tax and implement a more humane debt management system in Haringey, Manchester and Nottingham, with ACORN Newcastle demanding that the biggest social housing provider in the city commits not to using bailiffs during the cost of living crisis. If you want to stay up to date or get involved with these campaigns, contact your local ACORN branch.
Enough is Enough is a campaign to fight the cost of living crisis.
ACORN has come together with trades unions, food rights organisations and MPs to push back against the misery forced on millions by rising bills, low wages, food poverty, shoddy housing – and a society run only for a wealthy elite.
Our five demands are clear:
- A real pay rise
- Slash energy bills
- End food poverty
- Decent homes for all
- Tax the rich
We are building a campaign to win them.
That will start with holding rallies across Britain, forming community groups, organising picket line solidarity and taking action against the companies and individuals profiting from this crisis. It’s time to turn anger into action, join us: https://wesayenough.co.uk/
Short Term Lets
The rise in short term holiday lettings such as AirBnB is having a devastating effect on some of the communities our members live in. ACORN members have seen short term holiday lets replace long term rental accommodation, meaning rents are going up and conditions are going down. In some areas of Wales, the rise in short term lets is breaking up communities where the Welsh language is spoken and threatening its endurance. In some areas such as Cornwall and West Wales, the lack of long term residents has led to businesses closing down, schools struggling to get funding and NHS staffing crises.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport recently ran a public consultation on the regulation of Short Term Holiday Accommodation in England. ACORN mobilised members to respond to the consultation. We await results of this consultation before moving to the next stage of the campaign.
In early 2022, ACORN's Executive Committee debated and adopted a 12 point policy platform on Short Term Lets. You can read it here.
A third of privately rented homes would fail the Decent Homes Standard and for years ACORN has used direct action to prevent revenge evictions and get repairs made to slum housing. Licensing of landlords provides some legal protection from eviction and extends council powers to inspect properties. Over the years ACORN has mobilised thousands of tenants and won major licensing schemes in Brighton, Bristol, Oxford, Newcastle and Sheffield, covering tens of thousands of renters. However there are still lots of places that are not yet covered and so we’re fighting to get these protections in place.
Our Branches in Cambridge, Leeds and Manchester are campaigning on landlord licensing now. Get in touch with them to join the campaign for proper regulation of landlords and decent living conditions for tenants.
Unlock our Public Toilets
From time to time everyone has had to rely on public toilets. We rely on them for our basic dignity at work, in our leisure time or travelling around our town or city. They are essential for those of us with disabilities, those with bowel and bladder conditions, those of us without a home, and the elderly. For this reason, both ACORN Bristol and ACORN Newcastle have been campaigning to reopen public toilets closed by their respective city administrations. Head to their pages or get in touch to find out more about their campaigns.
ACORN groups and branches across England and Wales are campaigning on a range of issues, from buses to swimming pools to housing. Head to the Contact page to get in touch or to get involved, or to stay up to date with them on social media.