Sound the alarm bell for the housing crisis

19 December 2016


Tomorrow Tuesday 20th December I shall sound the alarm bell for the housing crisis by ringing a hand bell at 11 o'clock on the grass in the center of Parliament Square, Westminster. It is the day MPs leave for their Christmas break. Below is the explanation - a copy of the flyer is here should you with to use it locally amending the date and location any time from now until something is done. .

I will sound the alarm bell again at the same time on the 9th January the day MPs and Peers return from their holiday. 

The full brief about the housing crisis and some solutions is in ten blogs on affordable housing we have published on the TAP website over the past three months. The Index is here;

May I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas or if you don't do Christmas a refreshing winter break before for the harshest new year we will have experienced since 2007/2008 crash.




Rev Paul Nicolson Parliament Square Tuesday 20th December at 11 am,

When a fire, a crime or an accident happens someone sounds the alarm and immediately calls the fire-brigade, the police or an ambulance. ​​We have a ​ severe housing crisis; alarm bells are ringing all over the UK. ​But MPs leave Parliament on the 20th December for their Christmas break having made no plans for immediate action ​ to deal with a housing crisis. ​Peers leave on the 21st.  Rev Paul Nicolson has bought a bell.

They leave the tenants of the UK struggling to pay ever rising rents. According to the 2011 census 58% of households are renters in the London Borough of Haringey, 47% in London and 33% in England. It will be a dark Christmas for many of them.  High rents hurt tenants with low incomes.

See 10 BLOGs on Affordable Housing on TAP website

Higher rents, more rent arrears, more evictions - more hunger


  1. In-work poverty is rife. The intention of the living wage is undermined by high rents.​ Agency cleaners take two jobs & work long hours to pay the rent and put food on the table. Zero-hours contracts don’t pay the rent.

  2. ​Rents are increased by a chaotic UK housing market

  3. Government cutting housing benefit with benefit cap , bedroom tax and local housing allowance which also increase the rent for the tenants. 

  4. Tenants run out of money and cannot feed the electricity/gas meter.

  5. Mothers starve to feed their children 

  6. Council estates are being demolished and public land sold to developers for private profit.

  7. 3.5 million adults are homeless; 40% up since 2008.

  8. ​73,000 household in temporary accommodation; rising since 2011.

  9. 42,728 tenants evicted in 2015; 53% up since 2010 highest on record.

  10. The housing needs of the disabled are often ignored

  11. Some tenants will have no income over Christmas due to a benefit sanction;  food banks run out of food

  12. Rent & council tax arrears are enforced against sanctioned benefits.

 Rev Paul Nicolson will sound the alarm bell again.  Parliament Square on Monday 9th January at 11 o'clock, the day MPs and Peers return. 

Taxpayers against Poverty demands immediate action:

  • An immediate rent freeze for a year in all sectors private, registered social landlords and councils, while rent regulations are brought in, 
  •  All land owners to pay an annual ground rent to the government to force the use of unused land and empty property.  Builders’ land banks own 600,000 plots of unused land. They cannot put land in an overseas tax-free Bank. 

That will ensure everyone who owns land in Britain pays their fair share of financing the government, the NHS, police, roads and other infrastructure.

NB. Annual Ground Rent (AGR) should be introduced with the abolition of council tax, business rates, stamp duty and the gradual reduction of income tax and VAT.  


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