South London Renters holds a regular Radical Urban Reading Group.
We meet roughly once a month at The Sun of Camberwell, 61-63 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, SE5 9NS (map) to have informal discussions about housing and related issues. You can usually find us in the room behind the bar (head round to the right hand side when you come in). Everyone’s welcome to join us, whether you know a bit about the housing crisis or nothing at all.
Topics we’re planning to cover in future include:
- Speculation and the financialisation of housing
- Rent control
- Privatisation of housing
- Distributing housing – alternatives to the market
- Controlling our own housing
- Gentrification – readings: Is gentrification a dirty word?; Gentrification and the rent gap (Neil Smith)
- The Right to the City – readings: The Right to the City (Henri Lefebvre); Rebel Cities (David Harvey) – preface: Henri Lefebvre’s Vision and chapter 1: The Right to the City
- Privatisation of public space – readings: chapters 1 and 2 of Ground Control by Anna Minton
- Art and gentrification – readings: Laura Oldfield Ford’s Savage Messiah and Zones of Sacrifice; introductory video about Edgware Road Project; Lamia Joreige writing on her work for the Edgware Road project and videos exploring the relationship between the war in Lebanon and the landscape of the city (Objects of War is particularly interesting); Marwan Rechimai works based on map-making exploring people’s relationship with their surroundings.
- The causes of the housing crisis – readings: Overseas property buyers are not the problem: landlord subsidies are (Danny Dorling); 17 reasons your rent is too high (Generation Rent); The nightmare of renting started in Westminster (Aditya Chakrabortty); Critical analysis of Labour’s proposals for reforming renting (summarised by Radical Housing Network); diagram of factors contributing to the housing crisis.
- Regulating landlords – readings: A licence to rent and landlord licensing mythbuster (Shelter); Losing the licensing battle in London (Richard Blanco – landlord); Controversial landlord licensing scheme delayed (Zachary Norman); Newham Council’s landlord licensing scheme; Southwark Council‘s consultation on landlord licensing. See also this blog post about our discussion.
- The Financialisation of Housing: Desiree Fields’s “The Rise of the Corporate Landlord.”
We welcome other suggestions for topics, and things to read relating to them. For more info, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org