What do we believe in?

Housing Action Teesside (HAT) is a renters’ union, representing tenants across Teesside, that campaigns for decent, secure and affordable homes for all. We are organising tenants collectively to support them with housing issues, across both the private and social rented sector.

We believe that the rights of Teessiders to decent, affordable homes must come ahead of private profit, we will fight for an end to homelessness and housing insecurity. We know that for decades, our council housing has been sold off, and replaced with a profit-driven private rented sector that left too many facing exploitative rents and insecure private tenancies.

Since 2010, drastic austerity cuts have meant that councils have been forced to slash vital support for homelessness and social care. These changes have caused destitution across our community, Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis have caused even more hardship.

We have called on local authorities and central government to deliver real
changes to address this housing crisis, including:

  • returning to building council houses – rather than outsourcing to housing associations – at social rent on a mass scale, ensuring enough social housing for all who need it
  • introducing rent caps during the cost of living crisis, and a ban on evictions
    which are caused by tenants being unable to afford rent
  • taking over empty buildings and putting these to use immediately as social
    housing, to tackle the long and growing social housing waiting list
  • properly regulating the housing sector with a national landlord register,
    taking action against rogue landlords and ensuring all social and private
    homes are to a decent quality
  • expanding homelessness support, scrapping ‘non-priority’ and ‘no recourse
    to public funds’ status to give everyone the help they need
  • stopping asylum seeker evictions, ending the hostile environment which
    forces landlords and councils to act as Home Office border guards, and
    ensuring that everyone receives support to keep them off the streets
  • ending discrimination against housing applicants receiving benefits, which
    was ruled illegal
  • opposing criminalisation of homelessness
  • supporting unionisation of housing workers, to fight for better pay and

We believe we can achieve these changes through organising as a community, showing solidarity with each other and demanding better from central and local government. We will support other groups that are also campaigning for these aims, we will support our members, linking them up with housing advice and assistance.