This year Keep Your Eyes on 4 Fightback Actions for Social Housing
By Thomas L Blair 11 January 2018 ©
The Grenfell inferno deeply wounded Black and minority ethnic London. It highlights the tragedy of the commons. The powerful few reap the greatest benefits from the housing system. The well-being of real people in social housing is neglected.
Hence, community-led solutions to remove the enduring inequality in the urban housing and social services are urgent, I wrote almost 50 years ago.
Fast forward to 2018. Tragic Grenfell triggered survivors’ protests, vigils and community action. Now, London’s beleaguered social housing tenants are fighting back. Here are 4 grassroots actions to follow in 2018.
Aylesbury Residents are Staying Put in Run-down London estate
Residents are resisting a 1.5-billion-pound ($1.9-billion), two-decade scheme to flatten the dilapidated Aylesbury Estate in Camberwell. It is one of Britain’s largest social housing projects, and build thousands of new homes in its place.
Latinos Organise for Equality in Elephant and Castle
Latin Londoners say the council should honour its pledge to “cherish the contribution that the Latin American community makes to our borough”. Self-help groups promote participation, engagement and inclusion of migrant and ethnic groups in urban affairs. Protestors say people need secure and safe homes not people-removal gentrification. They want policies that promote genuine resident involvement.
Protestors link Tenants’ Plight to Faulty Brent Council Policies
People gathered to protest and deliver a signed petition against the council’s ‘absurd and unjust’ housing policy. They claimed Brent Council is responsible for “continued suffering of communities”. Protestors said the council was forcing families and the homeless into accommodation “unfit for human habitation”.
Black Labour Activists Press Party Leaders for Equality Social Housing Policies
A new movement of Black Labour Party activists was born at City College in Nottingham, September 2017. The Grassroots Black Left (GBL) – bills itself as the Labour Party’s watchdog. It has raised social housing issues to the top of their must-achieve agenda.
GRASSROOTS BLACK LEFT
A BLACK AGENDA FOR LABOUR
ADVANCING THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM
AND FOR BLACK REPRESENTATION
Crucially, “The Grenfell Tower disaster showed us, in the harshest of terms, that Black people who are Muslims, refugees, asylum seekers, poor and among the most marginalised in society, are the victims of the worse discrimination imaginable. We must unite and organise to help them.” said Marc Wadsworth, GBL communications officer and editor of The-Latest.com. citizen’s journal.
Social Housing Futures
Not every protest or battleline drawn will survive the cut and thrust of city politics, but the trend is clear. Communities, campaigners and Black and minority ethnic activists are gearing up for action post-Grenfell. They seek to rise up from tragedy and turmoil to safeguard and increase tenants well-being.
Best Wishes for the New Year 2018, and as always
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