We gatecrashed the auction last time, but they were ready for us this time. There were more bouncers than bidders today at the Allsop sale of social housing, and they had lists and photos of protestors to be barred from entry.
There were no such restrictions on housing associations flogging off the family silver, much of which originated as council housing.
On our way there, we passed doorways filled with rough sleepers in scenes reminiscent of developing world shanty towns.
It is obscene to see such hardship when set against the wealth of a housing sector that collectively made a surplus of more than £5bn in 2018, and which pays its top executives anything up to £500K per year. It is shocking that the total stock of housing for social rent is continuing to decline year on year. It is unacceptable that organisations with the wealth and capacity to provide people with homes and support services choose instead to sell the most accessible homes onto the private market. We will continue to call them out.
See Christopher Reeves’ film about the auction.
See a short interview outside the auction room.