Helping London Citizens campaign for affordable housing

 

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On Tuesday this week, Dot Dot Dot guardians, members of staff and a PhD student from Queen Mary University met to discuss ways in which London Citizens might focus their campaigning efforts to improve the housing situation in the capital

London Citizens is an organisation campaigning for a wide range of issues that affect the lives of people who live across the UK. One of their best known campaigns is The Living Wage, which Dot Dot Dot is proud to be part of, and which encourages companies to pay a living wage – higher than the minimum wage – to all workers, to give staff the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

They are now working to find ways to bring more equality into the local housing scene, with a view to making housing a priority issue for local borough councils and for the Mayor of London.

It was an interesting debate, discussing the pros and cons of different kinds of tenancies; the guardian model and different ways of allocating housing and the ways in which the system could be adjusted to bring more affordable housing to Londoners.  Suggestions from London Citizens included campaigning for more rights for private tenants, and the mechanics of how this could work.  We also discussed the possibility of landlords being certified by local councils as “living rent” providers, meaning that they would give longer tenancies and charge rents which were no more than 30% of tenants’ incomes.

No one has solved it yet, but it’s great to work with an organisation actively seeking to improve the situation.  At Dot Dot Dot we’re glad to be able to offer our guardians homes that they can afford, and our goal is to make property guardianship as good a form of housing as we can, although we realise that it has its drawbacks.  We’re really happy that we, and our guardians, are able to contribute in a small way to the bigger goal of campaigning for decent, affordable housing for everyone.

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