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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2019

Shac to name and shame housing bosses

Housing workers and tenants giving 'awards' to bad landlords, 26.4.17, photo Sarah Wrack

Housing workers and tenants giving 'awards' to bad landlords, 26.4.17, photo Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

The Unite union housing workers' branch and Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) are holding the annual Alternative Housing Awards on Wednesday 1 May. It will name and shame housing associations for poor performance as landlords and employers.

This year, the awards will be presented outside the plush Grosvenor Hotel, in Park Lane, London - a venue wrapped in wealth, exclusivity and privilege, which will be hosting the industry awards at the same time.

Housing association executives have little to be proud of. The sector collectively reported a surplus of 5 billion in 2018, while the Chartered Institute of Housing reported that 165,000 social homes have been lost to the sector over the last six years.

It's not hard to see why housing associations have lost much of their original social purpose. Top executives were paid on average over 173,000 in 2018, up 4.3% on the previous year. The highest earner was David Cowans who received almost 600,000.

Their wealth is not trickling down to their staff, whose average pay rises in 2018 were below inflation. The percentage rise in housing repairs spending also fell below the rise in executive pay.

They have little understanding of the struggle to survive faced by many of their staff, tenants or service users, nor the homeless population. Their self-interest is clear.

Alternative Housing Awards

Wednesday 1 May Grosvenor Hotel,

86-90 Park Lane, London W1K 7TN

shaction.org

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