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From: Jo Makepeace (webmaster@schnews.org.uk)
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 14:46:37 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: SchNEWS 655, Friday 14th November 2008

Councillor John Lines Homeless Village moves to new site


After Birmingham's County Court granted an eviction notice, a protest camp named the 'Councillor John Lines Homeless Village' has been forced to up-sticks and move to a new site er, fifty metres away. The camp, named after the council's housing chief, was called to highlight the chronic need for housing in the city.

There are currently 30,000 people in Birmingham waiting for housing. John Lines, who faced a disciplinary hearing earlier this year after describing asylum seekers as "scumbags", has denied there is a homeless problem in the city and claims the council doesn't have the money to build new 'social' housing. However, the council continues to hold onto land which could be sold cheaply to housing associations, hoping to sell the assets to the highest commercial bidders instead.

Housing Associations can draw a grant of up to £100 million for buying up social housing and, as one protester pointed out, "At £50,000 per unit, that £100m could provide around 2,000 homes." but that's too easy when commercial development profits are dangled.

The new site is at the start of Pershore Road (city end), and visitors showing solidarity are welcome. Campers have also asked for blankets, food and donations.

* See http://www.justicenotcrisis.wordpress.com

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