Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are very pleased to report that Edinburgh Council are dropping the court action against lone parent D for supposed “rent arrears” and are paying D Housing Benefit to cover the back rent.  This means we no longer need to go ahead with the planned action at the Council Leader’s surgery on Wednesday 21 March – this action is cancelled.  It seems the threat of action was enough to pressure the Council to do the right thing.

D and her young son were recently evicted from a Private Sector Leasing flat run by Link group under contract to the Council. The CEC refused to pay Housing Benefit to D despite the fact that she had no income apart from paltry benefits, and had no significant savings. Not content with making D and her child homeless the Council then started persecuting her via lawyers and the courts, demanding 4,100 pounds false “rent arrears”.

ECAP have been battling this injustice for over a month, but it is only when we made public our intention to demonstrate at Council leader Adam McVey’s surgery that the Council attitude mysteriously changed overnight!  The Council have now put in writing that Housing Benefit is being paid and the court action stopped.  Direct Action gets the goods!  The Council well know from the courageous actions of the North Edinburgh mums in All About Me and their supporters that more and more people in Edinburgh are willing to take action to resist homelessness and injustice.

The Council have also written that the Council Tax warrant against D has been withdrawn and full back-dated Council Tax reduction applied.  Now ECAP will be battling alongside D to make sure that she and her son are allocated safe secure good housing on a permanent basis.

We can build on victories like this, let’s step up our actions and through creating a counter power from below,  we can win HOMES FOR ALL!


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