WHAT IS #RENTERSRISING?
#RentersRising is a national movement to build a #RentersUnion.
We're starting this to reflect a simple reality: Rents and fees are rising. Evictions are rising. Complaints about unhealthy homes are rising. Homelessness is rising.
But so are we.
Private renting used to be a short step before buying a house or securing a council home. But we're fast becoming a nation of long-term renters. There's over 11 million of us now, twice as many as a decade ago!
We pay the most to live in the worst conditions with the least security. Thousands of us are forced to move each year. Many of us find it impossible to find a new home. But not for long; we're going to change all that.
We need a union.
To be able to defend tenants rights and make them stronger. To be able to win secure, decent, affordable homes for all. And we’re the ones that will make it happen. Whoever you are, you’re the right person. You’re just who we need. We’re looking for ordinary renters who care. People who want to see change. People that will help.
1000s of tenants in Bristol, Newcastle and elsewhere have already started organising and campaigning and tenants in Scotland have just launched their union "Living Rent".
Now we need to build a renters union across the country.
#RentersRising is a national series of workshop events and community campaign actions working toward this end. By the end of February 2016, we're aiming to:
- Train 150 organisers;
- Mobilise 1000 volunteers and;
- Recruit 1000 small donors;
...all with the intention of tackling rogue landlords, cowboy agents and a Government that encourages them.
At the heart of this plan are our #RentersRising workshops...
WHAT IS A #RENTERSRISING WORKSHOP?
A #RentersRising workshop is a cross between a local meet-up, action planning and training in community organising! At each event we aim to bring 50 local people together to get to know each other, discuss and choose campaign ideas, plan effective actions and learn the organising skills that can build the #RentersUnion.
WHAT'S THE PROGRAM?
Each workshop is designed to train, motivate and inspire us to build the renters movement. Sessions are broken into three sections:
- Renters Rights - making sure we know our rights, and what rights we need to fight for
- Campaigning - building a solid strategy, planning effective campaign activity and mobilising our communities
- #RentersRising - building local leadership teams and organising the #RentersUnion
WHAT ARE THE SESSIONS LIKE?
Sessions might change as the project develops but sessions that we’ve run before include:
- What’s your problem? (Discussing the problems facing renters, what rights we have and don’t have and which one’s we want to prioritise for campaigns)
- Who’s got the power? (Looking at who can make the changes we want, and how we can build the people power to influence them)
- Solid strategies and crazy antics (Planning fun, creative, inclusive actions, and turning them into a solid strategy for winning)
- Building the biggest, baddest base (People power needs people - learn how can we engage our communities and build our base)
- We’re all leaders (We’ll structure our leaderships teams, sharing responsibility and power)
- #RentersReallyRising (We’ll agree our next steps and put it into practice, building the national #RentersUnion!)
These events arent just about learning new skills - they're about making our plans to turn this housing crisis around. This is about more than one day. The hope is that at least some of these people will use their new skills and contacts, working with us to engage the total 1000 volunteers we need nationally to build the union.
ARE YOU IN?
If you're already in a tenant group or housing campaign why not affliate? Join #RentersRising and the broader ACORN community organising network. Get in touch to talk to an organiser.
WHO ARE WE?
#RentersRising is being created by community organising network ACORN, who have built a powerful 6000 strong tenant movement in Bristol and are now supporting renter activism in Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Reading and Weston Super Mare.