Posts Tagged ‘housing’

For the past year I’ve been working on the issue of evictions in the UK. This piece in the New Statesman should be the first of several on the topic. It looks at the impact of eviction on a single person and her family.

“Iwona is early. She is always early for appointments, including being interviewed by a journalist. This is no easy task. She is a lone parent and a carer to her mother who both has dementia and uses a wheelchair. Iwona works in a supermarket, volunteers at a local food bank, and is studying part time to become a social worker.”

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.

“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.

Housing immigration checks introduced in the 2014 Immigration Act are set to be ramped up under the Conservatives. This is a short and quick comment piece written up for the Independent in my day-job capacity soon after the announcement was made. Suffice to say I’m not a fan of the policy.

The Government’s new plan to jail “rogue landlords” for renting out homes to undocumented migrants is an extremely unjust measure for everyone involved in the private housing market. As well as harming undocumented people and needlessly punishing those who rent to them, it will only make help fuel discrimination among landlords and letting agents.”

Read the full article here.

The rise of housing campaigns in the UK has been amazing. Ten years ago there were a few campaigns, mostly local around protecting council housing from privatisation or demolition. Now there are dozens: private renter groups, anti-gentrification campaigns, anti-eviction campaigns, homelessness campaigns, and radical housing action. The Green European Journal asked me to write something up on housing campaigns in the UK, and it was clear to me that I had to write about the Focus E15 Campaign, which went from a small group of single mothers doing street stalls to a high-profile and active campaign on all aspects of the housing crisis.

Read the full article here

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By no means am I a photographer, but I was quite chuffed to see some photos I shot at a demonstration used by Buzzfeed.

The demo was called by Digs Hackney Renters, and targeted a lettings agent in Stoke Newington whom the Telegraph reported had charged tenants £1260 to change some names on a contract.

Read the report and see my snazzy photos here.

So this isn’t actually something I did as a freelance, and was part of my day job. It sets out and summarises some of the key race inequality issues that are currently found in private renting.

“Fifty years ago, if you had walked around the streets of London looking for digs you’d have seen signs on flats to rent saying ‘No Blacks, No Irish’. Despite continued cases of direct discrimination, racial discrimination in housing is generally now much more complex, nuanced and subtle.”

Read the full article here.

“Tenants from the New Era estate in Hoxton met last week to start on their campaign to stay in their homes.

All 89 households in the estate are facing eviction since rent hikes were announced by the new owners.”

Read the full article here.

Rent controls are unpopular in the UK, and for years politicians avoided even mentioning the idea. Now that it’s been floated again, the response from former housing minister Grant Schapps was to raise the spectre of Venezuela-style socialism. Anyhow, this kind of casual ignorance annoys me and so I wrote something for the New Internationalist on what rent control looks in Venezuela, and why it might not be so bad for the UK.

“Earlier this month, British minister for housing Grant Shapps called proposals to ban letting agents’ fees and cap increases in rent ‘Venezuela-style rent controls’.

Like Britain, Venezuela has a housing crisis. In 2011, 3.7 million people were registered as homeless or vulnerably housed. The 2012 presidential elections saw housing become a key issue, and incumbent President Hugo Chávez promised to tackle the problem.”

Read the full post here.