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Stuart Hodkinson

1 Privatisation and the death of public housing In the emotional aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, some commentators from across the political spectrum were quick to paint the disaster as the ultimate failure of post-war public housing rather than a result of decades of neoliberal policies promoting private greed over safety. Simon Jenkins of the Guardian saw in Grenfell a salutary reminder of the more general failure of high-rise housing: ‘How many times should we say it? Don’t build residential towers…. They are antisocial, high

in Safe as houses
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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

Norman Fainstein
Susan S. Fainstein

housing markets in the United States and public housing in Singapore. We use these extremely different examples as a The spatial dimension of poverty 241 natural experiment to illustrate the equity implications of two dramatically different approaches to dealing with the issue of spatial inequality. Three perspectives Cultural Sociologists and geographers have long concerned themselves with the social effects of spatial relations. The Chicago School of urban sociology went beyond the urban/rural distinction to investigate the internal differentiation of metropolitan

in Western capitalism in transition
Regeneration meets the Private Finance Initiative
Stuart Hodkinson

2 Outsourcing on steroids: regeneration meets the Private Finance Initiative Following the Grenfell disaster, an astonishing revelation was made by the London Metropolitan Police Service: it had identified at least 60 companies and bodies involved in the tower’s 2014–16 refurbishment, part of a total of 383 organisations connected with its original construction or subsequent management and maintenance.1 This scale of splintered governance is indicative of what has happened to public housing under decades of privatisation and demunicipalisation. This chapter

in Safe as houses
Dominic Bryan
S. J. Connolly
, and
John Nagle

non-sectarian movements that held protests and/or annual displays in Belfast city centre during the 1960s: the ban-the-bomb movement, public housing associations and the trade union May Day demonstration. Although these movements were generally distinct, advancing particular goals and politics, there was often a strong link between them, including overlapping membership and many shared forms of street politics. Through tracing these groups’ protests and annual parades during the 1960s, key insights into the issues noted above are exposed. Most especially, these

in Civic identity and public space
Mark Hampton

, in a 1968 academic study blamed crowded housing conditions, particularly in the first generation of public housing estates, for encouraging people to spill out into the streets. The prewar official standard of 35 square feet per inhabitant had dropped to 24 square feet in the initial public housing projects, in order to save costs; but, asked Goodstadt, ‘What can a man do in even 35 square feet?’. He

in Hong Kong and British culture, 1945–97
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Safe and secure homes for all
Stuart Hodkinson

7 After Grenfell: safe and secure homes for all This book has presented compelling new evidence from outsourced public housing regeneration schemes under PFI to show that the Grenfell disaster of June 2017 was no accident. Rather, it was the inevitable outcome of a privatised, deregulated and unaccountable system of housing provision, developed over 40 years of neoliberal policies that fed the insatiable greed of private interests at the expense of resident safety. If Grenfell was a disaster foretold, not just by the residents but also by the long lineage of

in Safe as houses
Jessica Nina Lester
Allison Daniel Anders

gentrification from abandoned mills and public housing projects. It was on ‘the other’ side of the river, in the South Prairie Public Housing Project, that Greenland resettled the majority of the Burundian families. Most of the Burundians we came to know had been named as refugees thirty-five years before, after the 1972 massacres in Burundi. In what is often named the first genocide of the Great Lakes region in Africa, the Tutsi-dominated government and military murdered over 100,000 Hutus and forced another 150,000 Hutus into exile (Lemarchand 1994

in Leaving the field
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P. J. McLoughlin

, most Protestants viewed the minority population with suspicion or hostility. Catholics were considered disloyal citizens, a fifth column in Northern Ireland who, in league with Dublin, sought to subvert and ultimately overthrow the Unionist government. Such feeling led to significant discrimination against the Catholic minority, which many Protestants felt could not be trusted to hold positions of influence in Northern Ireland.4 More generally, discrimination in employment and the allocation of public housing was seen to have a useful side-effect in encouraging

in John Hume and the revision of Irish nationalism
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Queer homes, households and families

attacked the provision of lesbian- and gay-specific public services such as education, housing and medical care. (Young single mothers seeking council housing also received negative media attention during this period of right-wing political attack on the whole idea of public housing.) We saw in Chapter 4 how a queer couple was hounded out of Plymouth in 1982 amid homophobic condemnation by council leaders and press questioning of how they were allocated a council flat. 41 Such stories reflected and contributed to

in Queer beyond London