Student housing victory shows protest can achieve results

Support us and go ad-free

Campaigners at University College London (UCL) are celebrating, having won a victory against management after complaints about the conditions in Campbell House were upheld, and students awarded a rent rebate of £1386 each. The university complaints panel found “serious failings” and that management were “disingenuous”, “demonstrating a lack of empathy” when dealing with complaints ranging from constant noise and pollution from building works, to rodent infestations and insanitary conditions.

The victory comes after seven months of protests, including direct action and rent strikes, by the UCL, Cut the Rent Campaign.

The campaign stated:

At a time of growing student anger over the poor state of university accommodation, UCL Cut the Rent Campaign believes this victory demonstrates the importance and validity of disruptive protest in holding university management to account.

It’s not just students who have been successful in challenging housing conditions and evictions, and there has been a significant number of victories across the housing sector.  Long term work by groups such as the London Coalition Against Poverty and the high profile campaign of the E15 Focus group  winning against Newham council‘s plans to evict them from council housing and rehouse them out of the borough, has shown the collective power of communities. Meanwhile, organisations like Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network and protests by the Bristol Solidarity Network which forced a letting agent to end their contract with a landlord who had consistently failed to solve problems, including damp which had given tenants asthma, show there is hope in resisting the housing crisis.

Rents are continuing to rise, increasing  in the last year by 6.3%, forcing the average to £816 a month, and ‘affordable housing‘ is increasingly a myth. Meanwhile, the grip of austerity is tightening making it easy to feel powerless. However, it’s important to remember there are times when campaigning, protest, direct action and solidarity, can and do work.

Featured image via Elliott Brown

Read on...

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us

Comments are closed