Profile acquire Tenants: Stories of Britain’s Housing Shame by Vicky Spratt

06 February 2018

Vicky Spratt, journalist, documentary maker, deputy editor of The Debrief and award-winning campaigner for tenancy rights, is writing a book for Profile on Britain’s housing crisis. In Tenants: Secrets of Britain’s Housing Shame, Spratt explores how and why the British dream of homeownership has broken down.

After a childhood marked by the threat of losing everything, followed by the stark realisation in her twenties that her dream of traditional homeownership was a fantasy, Vicky Spratt decided to act. In 2016, in her role as Deputy Editor of The Debrief, she started a campaign called Make Renting Fair to highlight the plight of ‘Generation Rent’.

The campaign was a success, resulting in the government’s announcement of a ban on letting agency fees for tenants. But it soon became clear to Vicky that this hard-fought triumph had only scratched the surface of the mammoth housing crisis that Britain faces.

From The Debrief

Taking that award-winning campaign as her jumping off point, in Tenants Vicky shines an urgent, startling light on the lives behind the crisis – from the twentysomething told to look “more homeless” in order to qualify for help to the London estate agent preoccupied by the dubious ethics of his trade and the women for whom safe and affordable housing is quite literally a matter of life and death.

Vicky Spratt says:

Housing is the most urgent issue faced by our country. If our homes are unaffordable and unstable how can we expect anything else in our society to work as it should? Our homes are the centres of our lives, from there everything else extends. As a broadcast journalist at the BBC I covered the housing crisis regularly, by fronting The Debrief’s successful Make Renting Fair I was able to do something, albeit small, about the problem. Tenants will go further, telling the untold stories of those at the sharp end of decades of political negligence and, I hope, galvanizing people all over the country to take action.

Vicky Spratt wrote and co-presented Generation Right, a documentary about the politics of young people, for BBC Radio 4 and has written for many publications including VICE, the Evening Standard and the Spectator. Her recent documentary about abortion rights in Ireland and Northern Ireland has been nominated for the Family Planning Association’s Rosemary Goodchild Award for sexual health journalism.

Profile will be publishing this urgent, timely book in autumn 2019. In the meantime, follow Vicky Spratt on Twitter here.