Well, that was exciting!
Seventy local people came together Tuesday night at our launch to say 'enough is enough' to the housing crisis in Newham and agreed to take collective action on bad housing and unfair renting.
Nearly a dozen of those packing into Durning Hall's massive main hall in Forest Gate stood up to share their housing horror stories. Every one of them was incredibly moving and powerful.
Families were suffering over-crowding including one woman who was close to tears; another had been pushed out of where she felt safe in Stratford town centre by extortionate rents. Taslima Khatoon had been moved to join ACORN, a new community union to make people more powerful, because she was stuck in temporary accommodation and is angry about the crisis.
Reverend Juliet Jensen of Emmanuel Church said temporary accommodation had become a 'whole new tenure' the council was failing to police, with people accepting terrible conditions, fearful of being sent out of London.
The crowd, angry at the situation and eager for change, also heard how vulnerable private renters felt, with the threat of eviction, leaving some fearing homeless or a life in temporary accommodation. Some even have their deposits kept by lettings agents.
The people assembled decided enough is enough and that it was time we acted first on the housing crisis. So our community union was born in Newham with Atta Rehman and Taslima voted as its temporary chairs, and a commitment to take action soon.
Many there signed up to join ACORN Newham on the night, and committed to helping out. But we need your help too if we are going to start winning. Can you help? Get involved here.