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“The Worst Bathroom in Scotland” ?

“The Council? I’m just fed up” he says. “Look…” He points at a gaping black hole in the bathroom ceiling. “I’ve been trying to get that fixed for ages. And that.” His pointing finger moves to indicate a patch of dangerous black mould. “I’ve given up trying to get the Council to do something about it. It’s like banging your head off a wall.” In June 2016  Azad Adam and his wife, who suffers from breathing difficulties, moved into a third-floor flat in May Court, one of Muirhouse’s six surviving high rises. Collectively known as “The Six Blocks” these comprise two 14-storey tower blocks, Fidra and Birnies Courts, and four “open deck access” rectangular blocks, Oxcars, Inchmickery, Gunnet and May Courts.  “It looked good when we moved in,” says Mr Azad (43). “The Council had just redecorated it.” But he soon realised that they had just painted over damp patches and removed black mould with bleach. They soon reappeared. “The bathroom always felt damp, and it got worse and worse. There was water coming through the ceiling.” The ceiling was covered with pine cladding. “I removed the cladding,” he says, “and was horrified by what I found beneath. The ceiling was ‘blown’. It was soaking wet and mouldy.” Since then the dampness has spread to bedrooms and all attempts to get it fixed have fallen on deaf ears.   Continue reading

Universal Credit, too big to fight?

Alongside climate catastrophe, growing inequality, under-employment, rocketing rents, the effects of social displacement (gentrification) and the wholesale of public services, Universal Credit is the elephant in the room destroying working class neighbourhoods as the negotiations around Brexit drag along, diverting all other political attention. Continue reading

Reflections on "The Problem of Rent"

Is the whole concept of rent the real problem? It just might be. Read our reflections from the recent symposium on THE PROBLEM OF RENT. Continue reading

Wyndford Tenants Union - Nothing is too good for the Wyndford.

Wyndford Tenants Union - Nothing is too good for the Wyndford. Continue reading

Documents against barbarism: a night of radical films

Come along to this great film night featuring a series of radical community films, not often shown and not to be missed! Tuesday 19 March, 7-10pm at the Flying Duck  Continue reading

Muirhouse tenants demand Council act on housing problems

Members of Living Rent descended on the Council North Office in West Pilton on 5th of March to demand action on housing problems in the Muirhouse high rises. The main issues highlighted were: dysfunction-ing lifts, leaking roofs, ongoing lack of repairs despite critical issues, and lack of clean up in communal areas.  The main manager George Norval came out of a meeting to meet the residents and promised to act on the serious situations they outlined. The Living Rent members stressed that residents are regularly trapped in their flats due to the frequent failings of the lifts in 14 storey Birnies Court.  One lift hasn’t worked for months and the other frequently fails.   This especially hits residents with children, the elderly, and disabled.  A resident commented: "Since their long drawn-out installation both new lifts have been problematic, frequently trapping tenants inside or just breaking down. On a few occasions both lifts have conked out simultaneously, leaving tenants to climb the stairs." Continue reading

The Problem of Rent: One-day Symposium

THE PROBLEM OF RENT brings together contributors to the recently published Rent and its Discontents: A Century of Housing Struggle and housing activists. Continue reading

Living Rent launches it's proposal for Rent Controls

We’ve launched our proposals for rent controls in Scotland, seeking to control the price of housing, improve quality and tackle gentrification in our cities. More than being another policy, rent controls push back against the power that landlords have over tenants, by ensuring what landlords charge is equivalent to the property’s standard. All renters will benefit from this change but especially the young, black and minority ethnicity communities, migrants and the working class people as they earn less and are disproportionately represented in the private residential sector. Continue reading

'No Evictions!' Launch Event

A Report from the Organising Team Launch in the Campaign to Support Asylum Seeker Accommodation Continue reading