What would it take for UK tenants unions to really win?

By Jacob Stringer   A recent visit to Berlin has given me much cause to reflect on the thorny topic of how to win better housing for everyone. I have been part of the London Renters Union for 5 years and while little in housing has improved in that time, we have always been able …

Hands off our green space

by Lilly Hill   A report from the frontlines of the battle to save Ryebank Fields.   Walking through the football fields of Longford Park in south Manchester, with their striking view of the city’s ever expanding skyline in the mid distance, through a gap in the blackberry bushes, you suddenly find yourself submerged in …

From commissioners to charter cities: implications for Liverpool’s urban governance

By Abi O'Connor (@abioconnor_)   The Conservative party takeover of Liverpool City Council represents a perfect storm in which corporate powers are able to trial new forms of urban governance which are vacant of democratic representation and wholly unaccountable to the people of the city. The possibility of these even further mechanisms of privatisation reveals …

Book Review: Making Space: Women and the Man-made Environment

By Lily GB (@lilygbrown)   “Thrones are crashing everywhere, and the men of property are secretly trembling” (p. 27)     The ‘manmade’ environment is a colloquialism so embedded in everyday dialogue that we rarely pause to dissect the meaning behind it. While it often refers to ‘human’ made constructs, it is also reflective of …

Don’t Defame Your Landlord

By Nick Bano (@nickbano)   In 1649 the radical Christian group the Diggers made a public declaration explaining that, in their view, landlords are thieves:   “Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, or Murther, or Theft; and all landlords lives in the breach of the Seventh …

A city at a cross roads: Refuse permission for the £741 million skyscrapers

By Greater Manchester Housing Action (@gmhousingaction)   On Thursday the planning committee will consider an application by Renaker for permission to build Trinity Islands: four skyscrapers incorporating 1,950 apartments and with a Gross Development Value of £741 million. The developers have declined to make any significant contribution to support affordable/social housing either on site or …

Community land trusts: the hopes and the risks

By Jacob Stringer (@radiagonalist)   The Housing Crisis is a Land Crisis, a pamphlet on Community Land Trusts by Lily Gordon Brown, was a welcome intervention in the discussion of the future of housing in the UK. Radical positive solutions to the inaccessibility of decent housing are too seldom discussed among housing activists. While some …

Student housing: from ghost towns to abandonment?

By Nigel de Noronha (@deNoronhaNigel)   In the first of series of articles examining the racialised impact of student accommodation in the wards of South Manchester, Nigel de Noronha examines the background to the growth in student population in the area. This work has been gratefully supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and originally appeared …

New Pamphlet: The Housing Crisis is a Land Crisis

By Lily Gordon-Brown (@lilygbrown)   There is little doubt that we are in the midst of a housing emergency. However, it is not only housing which has been subjected to commodification and financialization in recent decades, but also the land that sits underneath it. Land has become a site of speculation and regarded as an …

New Report Tracks Impact of Short-Term Lets in Manchester Neighbourhoods

By GM Tenants Union and GM Housing Action   A new report raises concerns about the proliferation of Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms (STLs) in the city and its effects on local residents.      The report, written by academics, journalists and members of Greater Manchester Tenants Union and Greater Manchester Housing Action, finds …