10 books to dig into this summer

Victoria Spratt is a fierce journalist, activist and housing rights activist. From his days to the deceased Debriefingwhere she led a massively successful campaign to ban letting agent fees, to her job today as I popr Housing Correspondent, documenting the schisms in tenants’ lives made deeper by conservative Britain, there really is no one else to approach this very British beast.

Tenants is as much an astute political and social analysis as it is a moving and radical call to arms. Spratt traces the political ventricles that brought us to the crisis. With the dexterity of a surgeon’s scalpel, she highlights all the reasons why there is such a decent housing gap, finding the line between lofty issues. It is striking how this affects our whole being – the now wacky dream of home ownership, our sense of community, politics, health and social life are all laid bare in accessible work and supported by the research. The accommodation is, in Spratt’s own words, the basis from which we engage with society, with our community.

With millions of stories of tenants in crisis and extensive research she has been conducting since 2017, she distills a breadth of human stories. Tony faces expulsion rather than retirement, Limarra is not homeless enough” to get council support, and that’s a big issue for Kelly and her asthmatic son Morgan, with rented property away from their trusted doctor. A few months later, Morgan died.

You’ll walk out of this boiling book, but stay armed with Spratt’s clear vision for how we solve this crisis – and join a tenants union now!

About Herbert L. Leonard

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