More than 60 leaseholders caught up in the ground rent scandal joined a demonstration organised by the National Leasehold Campaign Facebook group in Manchester yesterday.
The demo staged their protest outside the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Housing, which was to be addressed by new housing minister Alok Sharma.
In fact, Mr Sharma did not attend the event, although local government minister Marcus Jones did, as did prominent housing figures such as Lord Adonis.
Numerous delegates at the conference, primarily attended by housing association employees, stopped and spoke to the demonstrators.
These included Michael Gelling OBE, of the Taroe Trust www.taroetrust.org.uk
The event was organised by Katie Kendrick, a leading figure in the National Leasehold Campaign who addressed the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold reform in April.
Katie is a Bellway customer who bought a house in Ellesmere Port, was told by the developers she could purchase her freehold for around £7,000 only to face demands of £30,000 from the
The demonstration was the third staged so far this year.
The first occurred in Ellesmere Port outside Redrow’s Ledsham Garden Village site of 2,000 leasehold houses in March.
In May it was the turn of Bellway, outside its King’s Hill site, in Bromborough, The Wirral.
Many housebuilders are now backtracking fast on selling houses leasehold after a furious backlash.
The event in Manchester is the first in a city centre.