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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 September 2012

Brent Labour: Making families homeless

Brent TUSC

Anthony Counihan and Isabel Counihan-Sanchez moved with their five children from Kilburn, London, to Ireland in 2007, to look after Anthony's dad who was sick. They signed away a council tenancy without the council advising them they could sub-let for a year.

In Ireland, Anthony couldn't find work and Anthony's Dad died. The family moved back to Brent in 2008 and the council eventually found them private housing in Kilburn with an extortionate rent.

Anthony, a bus driver, inherited near-worthless land in Ireland from his dad and declared it to various agencies, resulting in complete cuts to their benefits over a period of 18 months, far exceeding the paltry 18 a week income the land brought in. The council landed them with a Housing Benefit overpayment bill of 46,000!

Unable to afford the rent on Anthony's 400 a week wage, evicted from their flat - Brent council found them temporary housing in Ealing; despite all the children attending school in Brent, despite Isabel's mum being seriously ill with cancer in Kilburn and despite the fact they couldn't afford this flat either!

They were threatened with eviction mid-August, which was only just overturned by the courts. The council have ruled that the family had made themselves intentionally homeless and are waiting on the outcome of the family's housing benefit tribunal before undertaking their duty to house them, despite months of growing protests in the community.

Supporters of the family have described the actions of Brent Labour council as social cleansing, with Glenda Jackson MP's outrageous response being for them to "go to Wales"!

Brent TUSC supports the Counihan campaign and calls on Brent council to immediately house the family in Kilburn, and to write off all debts they owe to the council.

However, this is just one example of working class people being on the receiving end of the austerity agenda. The family and campaign supporters instinctively see this as part of the wider austerity agenda by the main parties.

Sign the online petition at www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/house-the-counihan-sanchez-family-in-brent/4660

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In The Socialist 12 September 2012:


Fight against austerity

Build a 24-hour general strike

TUC passes general strike motion

NSSN lobby demands a 24-hour general strike

Teachers must unite against Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise the banks

Cabinet reshuffle

Con-Dem housing measures - in 'the thick of it'?

After the Paralympics... Stop the Con-Dems' assault on disabled

Cable attacks health and safety

'Red tape' bonfire puts workers at more risk

More bad news from media mogul Murdoch


International socialist news and analysis

Quebec Solidaire's electoral gains show potential for left

Honduras: Privatised cities in the global economy


Socialist Party feature: TUSC

We need a political voice to fight austerity


Socialist Party youth and students

Socialist students: Fighting for education

Bristol YFJ: "We're not lazy - we're fighting back"

Global youth unemployment rises

Youth Fight for Jobs in action! Coming events


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers' unity against brutal bosses at Cranswick Foods

East Coast train cleaners on strike

RMT assistant secretary arrested on picket line


Fighting NHS cuts

NHS under attack - Stop the closures, stop the cuts

Bromsgrove meeting opposes A&E closure

Demo against heart unit closure in Leicester


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Sheffield Socialist Party pickets strike-breaking facility

Brent Labour: Making families homeless

Young tenants to lobby Leeds council over housing crisis


Reviews and comments

The Reunion rewrites history: the Poll Tax

The shame of sexism in sport

How we stopped the racist EDL


 

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