London’s Housing Crisis - A Day of Talks

Talk Social Justice
  • Venue


  • Time

    10:00 AM

  • Price

    £8.00 - £10.00 plus booking fee

  • Book Tickets

Join us for a day of insightful talks on London's Housing Crisis, where we'll discuss the challenges and potential solutions

Join us for a day of insightful discussions and thought-provoking talks about London’s housing crisis. This event aims to shed light on the challenges faced by Londoners in finding affordable and suitable housing.

Throughout the day, experts from various fields will share their knowledge and experiences, exploring the causes and potential solutions to the housing crisis.

Whether you are a concerned citizen, a housing professional, or simply interested in the topic, this event offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of London’s housing challenges and collaborate on finding innovative solutions.

Talks will explore the history of council housing, the cladding crisis, the global financialization of property and the resurgence of super-rich housing ownership in the capital. Don't miss out on this chance to be part of the conversation and contribute to positive change.


Our Speakers...


Post-War History of Council Housing in London - John Boughton

John Boughton will discuss the post-war history of council housing in London with a particular focus on Southwark. His talk will examine firstly why and how council housing was built in such huge numbers after the Second World War and into the 1960s and the criticisms that emerged of the form and nature of public housing in succeeding decades. In the second half of the presentation, he will examine critically the process and impact of estate regeneration in London since the 1980s, concluding with a brief appraisal of contemporary social housing programmes in the capital.

John Boughton is a social historian who has written extensively on the history of council housing in his two books, Municipal Dreams: the Rise and Fall of Council Housing (Verso, 2018) and A History of Council Housing in 100 Estates (RIBA Books, 2022) and his widely read blog, Municipal Dreams. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Architecture of the University of Liverpool.



What We Need to Learn from the Grenfell Tower Fire - Peter Apps

Author and journalist Pete Apps will discuss his Orwell Prize winning book Show Me The Bodies: How we let Grenfell happen, explaining how the forces of deregulation, indifference and neglect led to a "completely avoidable" tragedy, and what we need to learn from this and change to ensure such a disaster is never repeated

As Deputy Editor of Inside Housing, Peter Apps broke a story on the dangers of combustible cladding thirty-four days before the Grenfell Fire. He has reported on the fire from the very beginning, working closely with the Grenfell community.



Beyond Big Capital: From Gentrification to Sterilization - Anna Minton

The global roots of the housing crisis, underpinned by the financialization of land, property and housing, ensure that the speed and scale of capital flows into many cities constitutes a new economic process, Qualitatively different to gentrification, the process is likened to sterilization. The lecture concludes by offering a brief look at alternative economics which favour regenerative rather than extractive models.

Dr Anna Minton is an writer, journalist and Reader in Architecture at the University of East London. She is the author of Big Capital: Who is London For? published by Penguin in 2017 and Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st Century City, published by Penguin in 2009. She is currently working on her third book, which investigates the global nature of extreme gentrification and the sterilization of cities, and which will be published by Penguin in 2025. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and Financial Times.



Dark City: London, the Rich and the Housing Crisis - Rowland Atkinson

The message of my book Alpha City was that a resurgence in the good fortunes of the global super-rich was, in reality, bad news for London. This group had effectively ‘captured’ the city through purchases of property, their evasion of taxation, and their infiltration of the political system. The rich got richer, the city offered a playground for them socially, and a piggybank for their assets to grow economically. This story takes us up to the time of the pandemic which, as we all know, expanded existing inequalities. However, it soon became clear that life had not only continued, but boomed again for the rich. The result of these fortunes for the few continue to make for a ‘darker’ city, a place whose vitality is actually depleted by big money and a politics that is happy to be influenced by capital. The ‘light’ of wealth has a flipside in a shadow city in which rising rents, poor mental and physical health and declining opportunity, even for the middle-classes is clear – governed by a political class that either does not care or claims not to have the resources to help. Where might we go from here?

Rowland Atkinson is an urban sociologist, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, and author of Alpha City: How the Super-Rich Captured London. Rowland is currently working on a project entitled Global Alpha NETwork, which includes work on offshore investment in urban spaces and its links to crime, and the capture of city contexts by the super-rich.


Further information about the day...

This event will take place in the Cathedral library and the doors will open at 10.00am with tea and coffee available for attendees.

An hour lunch break will be taken at 12.30pm and lunch is not provided.

This event is in-person only and won't be streamed or recorded.