As we head into Autumn, private tenants are still waiting for the Renters Reform Bill, so ACORN members have been busy over summer using strength in numbers to stand up to unfair evictions.
The Bill, which would outlaw ‘no fault evictions’ and provide other protections for private tenants, is stuck in limbo, awaiting the second reading in Parliament.
Because of the inaction by the Government, we have calculated that hundreds of thousands of renters may have lost their homes. We’ve launched a web page howmanyevictions.uk to keep track of how many evictions have occurred since the Bill was first proposed over four and a half years ago, and the figures are shocking.
The absence of legal protections serves to highlight how working class people can never rely on politicians or the law to protect them from injustice. This is why ACORN members have, this summer, stepped up our eviction resistance game. The act of people linking arms to stop a bailiff kicking out a fellow ACORN member from their home powerfully illustrates the principles of community and solidarity that underpin our work.
In Coventry, members joined together to support fellow members Mandy and Billy who received a ‘Section 21’ notice to leave their home - a type of eviction would be outlawed under the proposed Bill. They asked their landlord for a short reprieve to give them time to find another home, but were denied. Members quickly assembled a plan, and turned out on the day of eviction, standing together to stop the bailiff in his tracks. It worked, buying Mandy and Billy the time to find another place.
Each act of eviction resistance is organised by members, for members. It is not a service, it is solidarity, with members who receive support going on to take direct action to support others when they need it. Like a trade union picket line, it is a tactic that enables victory, and an education for members in using strength in numbers against a powerful target.
As we head into cooler months, members across the country are anticipating the need for more action. With the number of those threatened with eviction increasing daily, now is the time to get involved with the movement.