Tenants Rights discussion with Living Rent & the Greens


We were really glad to be invited to the Glasgow University Scottish Greens’ event Tenants’ Rights: Rents, Housing, and Alternatives in Glasgow on Monday evening. An activist from Living Rent was there to tell us about the development of Scotland’s tenants union, and their recent direct action around fungus-plagued PRS homes, and local Green councillor Christy Mearns talked about the possible future of Rent Pressure Zones in Glasgow.

It’s always exciting to learn about the different strands of housing action working in tandem to change the position of tenants, and the discussion on Monday brought up a lot of the potential challenges and opportunities on the horizon. It’s hard not to be cynical about the housing situation in our city, but imagining a future where good quality affordable housing is the norm, more tenants are taking control through co-ops, comprehensive rent controls stop the unlivable PRS inflation, and our housing needs are prioritized over profit-motive, makes it easier to engage with the work that needs done to get there. There’s definitely the will and energy to tackle the problems so many of us face renting, and seeing the country’s tenants’ union keep growing to new strengths and the policy debate widening to consider a first step towards rent control reaffirms our belief in our collective ability to push for and actualize our goals.

While Living Rent and the potential Rent Pressure Zones (the council is undertaking a feasibility study, to be completed in 2018) are oriented more towards changing the private renting, and the Glasgow Student Housing Co-op towards creating alternatives to the PRS, we reckon both approaches are key to undermining the current widespread situation – the centering of power in the hands of landlords to the serious detriment of tenants. We’ll definitely be following the progress of both, and look forward to all the possibilities for co-operation among everyone fighting for better housing in Glasgow!


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