On 30 April I attended a Waltham Forest Trades Council meeting on London’s housing crisis.
Rosie Walker from Waltham Forest Renters, a private tenants’ group organising against landlords, spoke about the need for rent stabilisation and longer, more secure tenancies.
WFR also demands the licensing of landlords and the curbing of “buy-to-let”. And Walker called for the abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.
Eileen Short from Defend Council Housing said that new layers of people have been brought into the fight for good, affordable housing through the formation of private tenants’ groups and campaigns against the bedroom tax.
She called for a living rent and for councils to have the power to regulate landlords and seize property.
Around 70 people attended the meeting, many of whom talked about the problems they faced as council tenants or private renters.
A young man from south London called on people to talk to friends and co-workers about housing, because when he spoke to friends about the meeting he found they had all been suffering the same conditions in isolation.
Private tenants’ groups have sprung up in several London boroughs demanding laws that curb the power of landlords and fighting for good, affordable housing for all.
• Let Down