SHAC@Clarion

SHAC@Clarion was formed to campaign for a better deal for tenants and residents of this giant landlord. It now has its own Steering Group of Clarion tenants to direct campaigning.

The Wall of Protest

It’s a simple but powerful idea – SHAC@Clarion members are hanging flags from their windows imploring the landlord to ‘See Us, Hear Us’. We want Clarion to speak to SHAC about a series of demands to address the systemic problems members are experiencing.

The Clarion Leaseholders Service Charge ‘Strike’

Leaseholders of Clarion living on an estate in west London are withholding payment of service charge increases after they were sent bills raising costs by up to 382%. See the full story here.

The #ClarionMoreThanYouCanBear Campaign

On the 19th May, Clarion held a meeting open to all tenants and residents. It went under the patronising title of ‘More Than You Think’ and allowed attendees to hear about how their landlord was doing more than they realise for residents’ benefit.

We believe that this event was a response to SHAC’S ‘Clarion Wall of Protest: See Us, Hear Us’ campaign. Tenants and residents from across the Clarion estate joined us to highlight the hypocrisy of this carefully stage-managed PR stunt. Fortunately the Clarion advert was easily adaptable and we thought it would be rude not to exploit the opportunity. We therefore created eight graphics to that were shared widely on social media in the run up to the meeting.

And here is Clarion’s view of its own performance as described at the event:

That’s what they think – what do you say?

Our Demands

The primary improvements needed at Clarion relate to:

  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Genuine tenant and resident engagement
  • Rents
  • Service charges

An Association Awash with Resources

Clarion may plead economic necessity for reducing the quality of services and rejecting decent pay increases for staff outside the executive elite, but the reality is that this giant landlord is awash with funds.

Clarion’s Financial Statement for 2019 boasts “We have increased our turnover by 3% and our operating surplus for the year by 4%”, in both cases beating inflation. They continue:

“Our operating surplus increased to £293 million (2019: £282 million) and our net surplus increased to £168 million (2019: £154 million) with operating and net margins remaining in line with the prior year at 35% and 20% respectively”

This level of growth would be making headlines if Clarion were a privately listed (FTSE 100) company, and shareholders would certainly be celebrating.

While tenants are squeezed to pay yet more for services, there is little prudence when it comes to setting executive salaries. Almost sixty senior staff are paid more than £100,000 per year. The Chief Executive receives a basic salary of £392,339, and got a bonus of almost £40,000 – more than some staff received for a full time job within the organisation. Clare Miller is reportedly the third highest-paid CEO of any English housing association.

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