Peabody Family Voice calls on Housing Association CEOs to change direction
Peabody Family Voice (PFV;1) announced today that it would be supporting the tenants’ demonstration (2) outside the GLA hearings with housing association CEOs. PFV is calling on the CEOs to move Housing Associations (HAs) back towards the traditional values of social housing and away from the increasingly commercial direction they are currently pursuing.
Many HA residents on social rents feel they are increasingly being treated as second-class citizens by HAs that are more interested in building upmarket properties for sale at the market price. Amongst the problems being experienced by HA residents are:
- poor quality repairs and maintenance by contractors who are not properly managed by HAs
- difficulty in getting their concerns heard because, through repeated mergers, HAs have become unaccountable and remote bureaucracies with no personal relationships with residents
- a shortage of new properties for social rent, due to the HAs’ practice of building less than 10% of new properties for social rent
- worry about security of tenancy due to the HAs’ practice of giving residents fixed term tenancies.
PFV believes that all these practices are due to HAs abandoning the traditional values of social housing, which they were founded upon and adopting the free market philosophy. PFV is therefore asking the CEOs the following questions at the hearings:
1. Will you commit to abolishing fixed term tenancies for residents in favour of secure tenancies with registered fair rents?
2. Will you commit to a moratorium on the amalgamation of Housing Associations?
3. Will you commit to ending the contracting out of maintenance and repairs and taking these activities in-house through Direct Labour Organisations?
4. Will you commit to ensuring that at least 50% of new properties built are for genuine social rent, not so-called ‘affordable rent’?
Sharon Rose, a Peabody tenant said: “I’m sick of Housing Associations being just another part of the machine of gentrification and social cleansing. Londoners need social housing more than ever now. It’s time for the big Housing Associations to serve the people they were set up to help.”
For more information, contact David King or Sharon Rose on 020 7502 7516 or 07854 256040, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for editors
1. Peabody Family Voice is a group of residents of Peabody and the former Family Mosaic Housing Associations, set up in January 2018 to oppose the merger of the two Housing Associations, and to campaign for tenants’ rights.
2. The demonstration has been organised by Housing Association Residents Action, the Social Housing Action Campaign, Homes for All, and Notting Hill Genesis Residents. It will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, October 4 outside City Hall, during the hearing of the GLA Housing Committee, which will be questioning CEOs of four major housing associations (https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/london-assembly/london-assemblys-current-investigations/housing-associations).