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.
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.
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.