The ‘hostile environment’ for migrants is impinging on everyday life for the public and for people in public and (increasingly) private services. Immigration checks at the border have now been extended in housing, education, health, and employment. Natalie Bloomer and I have been looking at the impact on people of these policies and just how far ‘everyday bordering’ has reached into our lives. I’ve been a big fan of Natalie’s work since I read a piece she did a few years back on ‘Baby Banks‘ (like a food bank, but for baby stuff like nappies, wipes, formula, clothes), so it’s a real privilege to be working with her on this. I’ll be adding to this series as we publish more.

Met police hands victims of crime over to the Home Office for immigration enforcement

Sadiq Khan says police are “duty bound” to report victims of crime to the Home Office

Revealed: MPs using immigration enforcement hotline to report people to the Home Office

Big Brother state: How May’s obsession with immigration turned Britain into a surveillance state

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A major part of what leads to segregation in society, by wealth and power, is not part of our integration debate. Why not? Today our society is more divided by wealth than it has been in a century. Mostly this divide between people who own housing, and those who do not.

Read the full article here.

Grenfell Tower, a huge block of social housing flats in West London, caught fire on the 14th June 2017, killing almost 80 people. This national tragedy, which has seen Londoners mobilise to help those displaced and bereaved, has also elicited protests and anger across the capital due to the fact that the incident might have been prevented if warning signs hadn’t been ignored.

Read the full article here.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy is still unfolding. What we know now is at least six people are dead and 74 injured, 20 critically. Going by previous disasters such as this, it will take months or perhaps years for the full story to emerge, longer still for any individuals to be held accountable if they are found to be at fault.

Read the full article here.

Fears have been raised that criminal offences could go unreported after it was revealed that the Metropolitan police has been referring victims of crime over to the Home Office for immigration enforcement.

Read the full article here.

“In the race to rent?” That’s what the advert from Rightmove asked at my local bus stop. It made me angry – housing is a right, not a race. But in the last two decades, instead of building housing for people, we’ve built a housing crisis. One which renters are at the sharp end of.

Read the full article here.

New book: The Rent Trap

Posted: November 25, 2015 in articles, housing

Over the past year I’ve been busy working on a jointly-authored book for the newly-incarnated Left Book Club.

The Rent Trap brings together a lot of the work myself and Rosie Walker have been doing on housing as journalists and activists. We interviewed everyone from policy-makers to people living in the worst housing conditions, and many degrees in between. What we are aiming to do is show why we have fallen into a rent trap, and look at some of the things we can do about it. Publication is due in March 2016. To find out more, check out the Left Book Club site.

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