What is Greater Manchester Against Evictions?

Greater Manchester Against Evictions (GMAE) is GMLC’s campaign against housing insecurity and evictions. GMAE is the product of GMLC’s work with Manchester housing organisations and tenants’ unions, including ACORN and Greater Manchester Tenants Union, working together to campaign against evictions and unfair housing policy and practices in  Greater Manchester. As well as protesting and lobbying together on some issues, we create shared resources and information to help residents of Greater Manchester avoid and resist eviction from private, public and social housing.

The Covid-19 pandemic

In March 2020, the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic began. Large numbers of people began to lose their jobs, incomes and housing security as a result of the series of lockdowns that ensued. Many people with low incomes, whether from employment or benefits, found themselves falling into debt and rent arrears, leaving them vulnerable to eviction. At the time, the government put in place a temporary ‘eviction ban’ to prevent renters from being evicted as a result of this debt, though the ban weakened over time as exceptions were introduced. The government also set in motion the ‘Everybody In’ scheme, temporarily finding housing for thousands of homeless people across Greater Manchester to stem the spread of the virus. As the scheme came to an end, GMLC launched a campaign called ‘Everybody Out?’ – asking why it was that the scheme was coming to an end when the pandemic wasn’t.

The biggest cause of homelessness is eviction

In mid-2020, we started working on Greater Manchester Against Evictions together with other organisations to link up the struggle for housing rights. We campaign against policies and government decisions that put people at risk of being evicted through no fault of their own, as well as offering legal advice and support to tenants’ unions resisting unfair evictions, and providing direct advice to people in our community.

Examples from GMLC’s housing campaigning

  • We created this Covid-19 Survival Guide, with tips, templates and advice on people’s housing situations.
  • We created this GMAE Flyer with other groups to inform residents of Greater Manchester of their rights and where they can get help with housing problems.
  • We sent a letter to MPs and decision makers to argue for changes to the Housing Acts 1985 and 1988 about what counts as ‘rent lawfully due’, arguing that if this excludes Covid-19 rent arrears, it would make tenants safer from eviction.
  • We offered legal training and support to organisations who had questions about various things: the legality of rent strikes, how to identify and challenge unlawful evictions, and how to resist evictions without breaking the law themselves.

Check out our articles below for some of our recent work with GMAE and around housing campaigning.

No Evictions demonstration
Day of Action with Acorn

Read more from our housing campaigns…

‘Breathing space’ or thin air? The Debt Respite Scheme is no solution to spiralling rental debts

On 31 March 2021, the current eviction ‘ban’ ends and the extended warning of eviction for tenants of longer notice periods falls away. In place of these safety nets, the…

I Thought They Said ‘No Covid Evictions’?

This is a guest article written by Housing Law Practitioner and GMLC Member Nick Donlon. The government announced on 8 January an extension of the stay on enforcement of evictions…

“To stay home, you have to have a home” – extend the evictions ban!

On 11th January 2021, the government’s “winter truce” on residential evictions is due to end, leaving more tenants vulnerable to eviction this winter in the middle of the COVID second…

Maxine Peake on the importance of Everybody Out

Watch Maxine Peake’s video on the importance of resisting and campaigning against evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.