CAMPAIGNERS celebrating the latest defeat of the controversial Housing Bill yesterday vowed to “kick it while it’s down” with a national demonstration at the end of the week.
The fighting cries came after one of the Bill’s major policies was defeated in the House of Lords on Monday night.
Peers voted with a majority of 94 to amendments to the Bill’s provisions for so-called starter homes, including an extension of their discounts to 20 years.
The Kill the Bill campaign is now calling for mass sleep-outs on Friday to protest against the Bill as well as show solidarity with the homeless.
A spokeswoman for the Kill the Bill campaign said the setbacks suffered by the Tories in the Lords showed how “unpopular” the document was.
“Starter Homes — the Bill’s flagship policy — are no solution to the crisis,” she said.
“They will help only the wealthy and do nothing for the millions of people struggling with housing across the country.”
Another amendment tabled by the Lords allowed councils to choose the amount of starter homes to build in their borough — making sure affordable housing is still a priority.
Speaking on the amendment, housing expert Lord Best said: “It gets to the heart of the fundamental problem with this Bill — namely the introduction of measures to generously subsidise home ownership schemes — with the subsidies being found by a transfer of public resources away from low-cost rented homes for less affluent households.”
The Bishop of Stepney Adrian Newman will join housing campaigners at the east London protest on Friday.
Another group will be rallying outside Downing Street before marching to the luxury offices of a south London council for its sleep-out.