A city for living in, not investment

Posted on Posted in Housing

“We want to take back our city from the super-rich and the corrupt politicians who serve them”

That is the declaration from Take Back the City, a group of Londoners who are have decided to self organise.  They want to put the majority, the marginalised and the disillusioned back in the driving seat of decision-making in London.

Here they talk about their work.

Why does it matter?

London is a deeply unequal city.  People at the bottom of the income and wealth scale are not exceptionally worse off in London.  The inequality in London is driven by the wealth of those at the top which is much higher in London.

Housing in London is not affordable for ordinary people – the median annual salary is £30,338, yet people need to earn £140,000 to buy a house.  Rent is also high; London tenants pay 72% of earnings on rent.  The London skylight shows a lot of activity related to housing but none of that is intended for people earning £30K.

Many of the newly build flats are sold to wealthy people who use them as financial investments, with a significant number of them not occupied, in a city where 8,096 people slept on the streets last year and 50,000 households live in temporary accommodation.

Property developers are some of the biggest donors to our politicians.

What can we do?

  • Don’t let politicians off the hook.  Demand and support investment in social housing – the kind those earning £11-30K per year can afford.  Write to your MP asking them what they are doing about social housing.  Hold them to their promises
  • Support The Radical Housing Network, which is made up of groups fighting for housing justice
  • Support, create or promote Housing Cooperatives
  • Join Take Back the City or other organisations and campaigns working towards inequality
  • Support Architects for Social Housing who are committed to finding viable alternatives to estate demolition that benefit the wider London community