Today ESOL teachers met and resolved to take collective action on housing.
The Problem: The housing crisis is hitting London the hardest. Thousands of ESOL teachers and students are suffering the impact of poor quality, expensive, precarious housing. We want to do something about it. Particular issues in no particular order: damp and related health problems – estate agents refusing to fix things without putting up rent – overcrowding – scepticism on the part of many councils towards homelessness – evictions – gentrification and rising prices – long periods in temporary housing – unsuitablity of some temporary accommodation – landlords advertising “no kids and no DSS”
What do students need? Advice: what is the best course of action? What rights exist? Activist support: solidarity protests, accompanying for meetings, changes in legislation or conditions Language training: Forum theatre, problem trees, reformulating requests, lexis, persuasive vs polite language, phone calls, letters of complaint/request, writing estate agent reviews
How can teacher be more effective at support/activism: Compiling list of friendly solicitors Lists of groups who support people Analysis of the layers of responsibility Clarity on the rules Share resources Network of organisations who can advise Write up and share classroom experiences Analysis which strategies are most effective?
Next steps Set up and share an ESOL and Housing blog Research on what’s out there (mapping):
- Bigger organisations
- Activist groups
Training day (June 6th) for activists and ESOL teachers to come together
- Invite activists
- Call out on the various lists