Local union protests against record eviction rates in Wales
A local union has protested against record eviction rates at a march in Aberystwyth.
Unite Cambria took part in the TUC march in Aberystwyth on Wednesday to protest a drastic rise in no-fault evictions, which have reached a record high in Wales.
Fast-track “accelerated possession orders” by landlords seeking to evict tenants who are not at fault spiralled to 527 evictions between July and September last year – more than double the previous record of April to June.
“Letting landlords making people homeless whenever they want is a blatant attack on people’s rights,” said the new union’s chair Colin Rigby.
“No-fault evictions are outlawed in Scotland and in England even the Conservative government have promised to ban them – yet in Wales they are more common than ever.
“People are suffering enormously from the cost-of-living crisis, as well as never-ending cuts to public services. Alongside trade unions across Britain, we badly need community unions like Unite Cambria that can take direct action.
“Ordinary people win when they come together and act,” Rigby added. “That’s how we’ve claimed back deposits and stopped letting agents discriminating against benefit claimants.”
Scotland banned no fault evictions in 2017 and the UK Government has strengthened its regulations regarding such evictions, further pledging to follow Scotland’s ban during this Parliamentary term.
In Wales though, the government has opted to increase the notice period for these evictions from two months to six, ultimately still allowing them to go ahead.
“The housing crisis is wreaking havoc on people’s lives,” Unite Cambria member Llinos Anwyl said.
“Insecure tenancies and poor living conditions have created a public health crisis, destroying the physical and mental health of generations who will never own a home.
“Joining Unite Communities means I can fight back and change things.”
Formerly part of tenants’ union ACORN, the group reformed this month as a branch of Unite Communities – a move they say gives them more autonomy and resources, as well as the backing of Unite’s 1.4 million members.
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