EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE LAUNCH HOUSING PROJECT
A group of residents are working together to have their voices heard on the housing crisis which is directly affecting them.
Caritas Anchor House is working in partnership with Newham Citizens – part of The East London Community Organisation (TELCO) – on a project where residents work together to find a common cause to campaign for.
Together, they chose to focus the project on the housing crisis in Newham which has directly affected each person who resides here. The housing situation includes rocketing rents and a severe lack of affordable housing options, and it’s a topic on which each of our residents are experts by experience.
The housing crisis in Newham affects thousands of residents, and it is no surprise to see it chosen as the campaign cause. Research commissioned by Sky News showed Newham to have a ranking of 1 for ‘Lack of Supply’ – this means Newham has the poorest housing supply in the entire country. Although promises had been made by the local authority for 50% affordable housing, the recent Stratford Waterfront development only completed with 35% affordable housing.
John Lowery, Director of Frontline Services at Caritas Anchor House, said, “Our project with Newham Citizens is truly empowering our residents, and showing them how they can campaign successfully and work as a team for a cause they are passionate about.
“It’s amazing to see how far the joint project has come so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing its progress.”
Our residents have taken many significant steps, including meeting with Councillor Shaban Mohammed, the Deputy Mayor of Newham James Gray, and the Deputy Mayor for Housing from the GLA James Murray, to discuss future plans for affordable housing and on approaching local developers to ensure they allocate some of their build to affordable housing.
Just last week, six residents met with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing in a visit to the borough to see firsthand the reality of the national housing crisis, to enable them to make policy recommendations for government. There, residents shared their personal experiences of unstable housing and their time spent homeless in the borough.
Alongside making a difference locally, residents are also able to use the project to practise and build upon their teamwork, negotiation, storytelling and leadership skills, all of which will help them in their next chapters.
Our residents have big plans for the campaign, and we are looking to work with even more organisations and individuals to make sure our voices are heard.