Yesterday, the government said that it aims to build 1million more homes by 2020. It’s not the first time we have heard pledges like this. Time and time again, we hear authorities and ‘experts’ say that the only solution to the housing crisis is to get building.
Over the past three months, however, we’ve had hundreds of conversations with people in Newham which tell a slightly different story. Like the experts, they’ve too said that there’s a real need for more houses to be built, especially affordable council houses. But as well as needing more, affordable homes, people have said that there are many other solutions to the problems of the housing crisis. Here are just a few of them:
- action to increase tenancy security
- ending slum conditions, such as damp, mould and disrepair
- ending rip-off agency fees
- protecting people too afraid to report repairs in fear of eviction
- ending children housed by the council in B&Bs
- providing paper versions of inaccessible online housing application forms
Yes, we need homes, but there’s so much that we can act on right now. Who is going to do it? Well, we’re tired of waiting for people like the government to act, so ACORN members are taking action for ourselves.
In Bristol, we’ve seen how powerful we can be when we support each other and act together. We have only just started, but our people-power has won so many changes already, including £thousands of repairs, prevented evictions and are raising standards with our Ethical Lettings Charter.
Now, we’re beginning a new chapter in Newham, East London. Here, too, we can help people claim their rights to live in decent homes. Next Tuesday 29th September at 7pm – a week today as I write – you have the chance to join part of our people-powered movement for change take its first action in Newham.
So if you, like us, are tired of waiting for action, we need you to join us at our launch next week. It’s really important, so RSVP today.