Council housing tenants have joined forces to campaign against the massive attack on their homes as the government ploughs on with its brutal reforms and benefit cuts.
Defend Council Housing revealed today it was organising with Disabled People Against Cuts and unions PCS and Unite to rally tenants and other groups in the fightback against changes that will come into force this year.
Changes from April 2013 will slash 14 to 25 per cent from the housing benefit received by up to 600,000 tenants hit by the Tory spare "bedroom tax," while a new total benefit cap and reduce council tax benefits that will mean millions having to pay more.
The coalition has refused to rule out scrapping housing benefits altogether for the under-25s.
And the universal credit will cut benefit further for many from October 2013, including disabled people, households with two earners, mothers and people paying for childcare.
A spokesman for Defend Council Housing said: "Council housing is more important than ever but faces major threats in 2013.
"Councils will decide whether to remove some secure tenancies and introduce up to 80 per cent market rents. And rent rises plus benefit cuts threaten more poverty, debt, evictions and homelessness.
"Tenants are demanding genuine consultation on these and other changes to landlord and tenancy strategies including access to the waiting list and housing for the homeless.
"Councils have already changed or postponed changes which undermine tenants' rights due to lobbying and campaigns.
Activists said their campaign was "to stop privatisation, improve existing and build a new generation of first-class council housing."
Tenants and community organisations, trade unions and local and national campaigners will meet on Saturday January 19 at Unite House, 128 Theobald's Road, London, to co-ordinate the fightback.