Private renting used to be a short step on the way to getting a mortgage or social housing. But we’re fast becoming a nation of long-term private renters. In 10 years, we’ve gone from 5 million to 12 million and growing. But, unlike on the continent, private renters in the UK have little protection from rogue landlords and exploitative letting agents.
We need to get organised. We need a union.
ACORN has been organising renters into a campaigning organisation in Bristol, Newcastle and elsewhere for two years. It started with nothing, but today number 15,000. Together ACORN has supported renters with bad landlords, evictions and more, winning improvements in conditions from letting agents. And now members hold political influence, working closely (for example) with the Mayor of Bristol on housing policy.
The ACORN renters’ campaigns have updated the original idea of a union, making it work for the digital age and for people who move house often. Members work in small organising teams, who identify campaign ideas and then engage, educate and mobilise 1000’s of supporting members when it really counts. Instead of a top-down organisation, the teams are largely independent, doing what they want to do but coordinating as a network, and supported by trained and experienced organisers.
#RentersRising is a national project aiming to build on this local success, and create a nation-wide, networked renters union. #RentersRising Sheffield will bring together 15-30 people who care and want to see housing justice, and are prepared to help build for it. ACORN organisers will help develop the skills needed to build a union, and help those who want to form an organising team to agree first campaigns, team roles and next steps.
Let’s organise! Sign-up in Sheffield today (see below)!
18-22 Union St
Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2JP
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