In the no man’s land of tenants’ rights, Oxford is a city of great power and inequality, where 1/3 of the population is renting. The influx of wealthy students, high paid university staff and transient nature of this population has exacerbated people’s powerlessness.
Oxford needs a rebalance of power. People in the most vulnerable situations need to be given a chance to empower themselves and use their collective power. This can happen through a member-led tenants’ union.
The goal is to rebalance powers between landlords and tenants. Making housing fairer, more accessible, and enabling people to be housed decently, as we all deserve.
There are short term actions, such as avoiding evictions, getting landlords to do repairs, and agents to act decently. Mid- to long-term campaigns involve fighting to repeal section 21, rent caps, standardising contracts, repealing restrictive HMO policy, increasing landlord transparency, and many more ideas.
The process is simple. We gather a group of people, we doorknock, we meet, we discuss, we act and we go again. This process will create links, raise awareness and empower people.
Connection by connection, win by win, we can build the power of people, and raise the voices of the unheard.
At meetings we’ll have food, child care, and space to talk and to plan. Meetings will be welcoming, festive and enable people to connect and feel hopeful that together we can change things.
This is already working in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & Belfast.
Again the process is simple, it creates real social change, through solidarity and empowerment. It is about relationships & power.