Housing Association residents and workers form network
Threat from housing act
Housing association residents gathered to discuss creating a network with housing workers to fight the threat from the new housing act and from increasing commercialisation. The meeting was sponsored by the Unite housing branch (LE1111).
We had a large number of apologies due to the big anti Trump protest at Downing Street on the same night but there was a good representation of London based associations and a lively and determined discussion with many graphic examples of the increasingly commercial nature of housing associations.
Endorsed 4 for all
There was agreement that we need to build a campaign and the branch will link together association level networks of workers and residents. We will also organise another meeting for everyone in a few weeks time.
The meeting endorsed Unites campaign for a decent pay increase (4 for all) and called for a halt to the squeeze on staffing levels which undermines services.
The idea of a Housing Association workers and residents network came from the “Axe the housing act” campaign summit held last year. Political campaigning will be a key part of our role in the face of social cleansing regeneration schemes and the deregulation of associations but there is also a clear need for tenants to organise on the ground.
Concern at Sadiq Kahn
Concern was voiced by a number of speakers that London Mayor Sadiq Kahn was not seriously addressing housing concerns. A petition was circulated which has already been signed by LE1111 branch secretary and Unite executive member Suzanne Muna and by Unite Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner, it can be downloaded here.
Suzanne introduced the discussion outlining changes taking place in the sector (we have produced this briefing) and the meeting was chaired by branch chair Paul Kershaw. We will post details of future meetings in the Events section of this website. We are building a mailing list, contact email@example.com to be added to that.
Speakers raised the idea of producing a London manifesto for housing. No doubt this will be discussed further; our branch has produced a manifesto, based on Unite policy which can be downloaded here.