Estate residents and renters in communities across London are demanding action to ensure that their homes are safe, and that authorities ‘listen to tenants’ to ensure that the Grenfell catastrophe marks a turning point for the UK’s housing system, Radical Housing Network said.
In Lambeth, a community forum is being held tonight to demand urgent ‘Action for Safe Homes’. Residents from across the borough are attending the meeting, including from Central Hill and Cressingham Gardens, two council estates with long-running anti-regeneration campaigns. Pilgrim Tucker, a housing campaigner who worked closely with Grenfell residents to demand safety issues were addressed, will be speaking at the event.
Earlier this week in Barnet, following the discovery of a tower-block with similar cladding to that used at Grenfell Tower, a local residents campaign held a protest to ‘demand answers’ from the local council to ensure the block was not ‘a danger to life’. And in Hackney, a renters group held an emergency public meeting to discuss how ‘to make sure people in our community are safe’.
Anne Cooper, a council tenant on Cressingham Gardens estate in Lambeth, said:
“As estate residents we saw the tragedy unfold at Grenfell and our first thought was – they are just like us. They had concerns about regeneration and maintenance, and were ignored.
“Now we feel it’s time to demand action to make our homes safe. We have been fighting Lambeth council’s regeneration plans for years but we’ve been ignored, even silenced. Grenfell has confirmed just how critical it is for councils to listen to tenants’ voices.
“Our community is coming together to work out how we can pressure authorities to listen to us – and provide the public investment needed to ensure safe, decent homes for everyone.”
A spokesperson for Radical Housing Network said:
“Over 120 tower blocks have failed cladding safety tests, and the number keeps growing. Across the country, people are scared, wondering whether their homes are safe. The tragedy at Grenfell has revealed just how broken and unsafe our housing system is.
“We’re calling neighbourhood meetings to ensure residents’ voices are heard by local councils. For far too long, social tenants have been treated as second-class citizens – now communities across London are demanding that public authorities guarantee safe homes for all.
“Grenfell must mark a turning point – it’s time to fix our broken housing system. We need public investment in a new generation of decent, safe, genuinely affordable public housing.”
Notes to Editors
Radical Housing Network is a London-wide network of campaigns fighting housing injustice. Grenfell Action Group, a resident group who campaigned on safety issues at Grenfell Tower, is a member of Radical Housing Network.
Joe Beswick – 07873557040
firstname.lastname@example.org – updates follow @radicalhousing