Rent and its Discontents: A Century of Housing Struggle (Transforming Capitalism)

 
9781786605757: Rent and its Discontents: A Century of Housing Struggle (Transforming Capitalism)
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The 1915 Rent Strikes in Glasgow, along with similar campaigns across the UK, catalysed rent restrictions and eventually public housing as a right, with a legacy of progressive improvement in UK housing through the central decades of the 20th century. With the decimation of social housing and the resurgence of a profoundly exploitative private housing market, the contemporary political economy of housing now shares many distressing features with the situation one hundred years ago. Starting with a re-appraisal of the Rent Strikes, this book asks what housing campaigners can learn today from a proven organisational victory for the working class. A series of investigative accounts from scholar-activists and housing campaign groups across the UK charts the diverse aims, tactics and strategies of current urban resistance, seeking to make a vital contribution to the contemporary housing question in a time of crisis.

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Review:

This compelling book reminds us that decent housing has been fought for and won through struggle, by thousands of people in grass-roots campaigns, in direct action and protest, over one hundred years. It demonstrates the achievements and the continuing urgency of need in the long campaign for a fairer housing system.--Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing, Leeds Beckett University

This book covers some vital issues for housing campaigners everywhere: rent strikes, the role of women, the myth of housing associations and social cleansing to name but four. As Neil Gray reminds us, it arrives at a key moment. The demand for decent, secure, truly affordable and safe homes for all is growing, but not yet won. Rent and its Discontents will help.--Glyn Robbins, Housing Worker and Campaigner

The importance of this edited volume is threefold. Firstly, it offers a critical re-reading of historical rent struggles, secondly, it encourages comparisons between diverse rental issues and conditions for tenants' organising, and thirdly, it promotes situated knowledge-production that combines academic and activist expertise, all of which are essential to understand and politicise rent as key to contemporary forms of capital accumulation and housing enclosures.--Mara Ferreri, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

In this well edited book a range of contributors revisit and rethink the Glasgow Rent Strikes of a century ago; very effectively linking this to insightful analysis of contemporary housing movements and asking searching questions about the politics and strategies of the housing struggle today. Essential reading.--John Flint, Professor of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of tenant activism and contemporary housing struggles. Accessible and engaging, Rent and its Discontents explores the hidden continuum of tenant struggles in Britain and Ireland and highlights the relevance of these campaigns for those fighting today for decent, secure and affordable rented homes.--Rebecca Searle, Senior Lecturer in Humanities, University of Brighton

Here is a lineup of tenant activists and key academic activist researchers from across the UK and Ireland reflecting on historic and current housing struggles. Taking their starting point in the 1915 Scottish rent strikes contributors on the frontline of campaigns report on eviction and social cleansing in England and rebuilding of tenant movements in Scotland and Dublin. They leave us with some thoughts on current housing movement theories and tactics. The book will give heart to the dwindling band of critical housing academics and will be an important source of useful knowledge for students and social movement activists.--John Grayson, Independent Researcher

About the Author:

Neil Gray is an urban researcher, writer and lecturer and a long-term housing activist. He is currently working as a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow.

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