SHAC supporters joined the group of housing campaigners today disrupting the sale of social housing by Savilles. The protest was over the sale of badly needed social-rent homes which will now be owned by private landlords, with rents levels raised beyond the reach of many ordinary workers.
Protestor and social housing tenant Nancy Taaffe pointed out that people are freezing to death on our streets for lack of shelter but instead of helping them, housing associations like Peabody are flogging them off to the highest bidder.
There were angry exchanges between the auctioneer and protesters, while campaigners called out the lot numbers that they were asking buyers not to bid for.
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Social Housing Action Campaign communications officer Suzanne Muna noted that the Chartered Institute of Housing reported a loss of more than 165,000 social rented homes between 2012 and 2018. Clearly, auctions like Savilles will just contribute to this loss, and will only worsen the housing crisis.
Working class communities are being disrupted by the very people who should be safeguarding them, and protecting the future of social housing. Instead, these homes are treated as disposable assets and no more than cash cows to the associations’ executives.
The campaigners also included Housing Association Residents Action (HARA), The Unite Housing Workers Branch, and tenants from Peabody, Hexagon, Notting Hill Genesis, L&Q, and other high profile associations.