Exactly one month from today, social landlords will be heading to Manchester for their annual booze up and backslapping. And we will be there to meet them.
The UK Housing Awards was an annual self-congratulatory ceremony for housing associations, councils, and their partners. It was cancelled last year after SHAC’s petition opposing the event topped 54,000 signatures.
This year, the awards are back, cynically rebranded as the Affordable Housing Awards, so our picket returns too.
UnAffordable and UnWorthy
There will be gongs and praise for a sector that has repeatedly failed as the judges attempt to cover up yawning cracks in the sector’s abysmal performance. Many of the judges are themselves among the board members and senior executives of housing associations.
Among the panel are Monica Barnes from Southern Housing, Bruce Moore from Housing 21, Mark Washer from Sovereign, and Chris Smith from Thirteen Group.
And as if this wasn’t enough, the extravaganza is obscenely expensive. A single ticket costs upwards of £400 per person and provides a three-course lunch, plus half a bottle of wine – all paid on the corporate tab. Of course housing associations won’t be sending just one person, but whole batches of executives and senior managers.
Gallery 2022 – Smiling housing association executives raise a glass to their successful year of letting tenants and residents down.
Meanwhile, tenants and residents endure squalor, disrepairs, discriminatory treatment, soaring rents, and financially abusive service charges, all alongside struggling to heat and eat in the worst squeeze on budgets for 40 years.
As one of our members put it:
“The sector is sending out the wrong message at the wrong time. They celebrate the wrong people for the wrong reasons. The ceremony will involve housing executives talking about tenants and residents in the same old condescending and patronising way.”
When the sector puts this right, these landlords will be worthy of an award.
Tenants and Residents Opposing the Awards
For the last few years, SHAC has picketed outside the event whenever and wherever it was held.
This year, we’ll be protesting again, but bigger and broader, not least because we will be joined by two housing coalitions which will considerably increase the scale of the protest, and its impact.
Housing Campaign Groups Unite and Mobilise
The protest will involve the Homes for Us and Homes for All coalitions supporting members to attend and make a powerful statement at the event.
These alliances include Acorn, Generation Rent, London Renters Union, Defend Council Housing, MedAct, New Economics Foundation, Inclusion London, Runnymede Trust, Disability Rights UK, Radical Housing Network, Advice for Renters, and many others.
Support with Travel
We should be able to help with travel costs if needed. Please email us in advance saying what method of travel you are using and how much it will cost. Receipts will be needed.
Please join us!
17 October 2023
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