ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022, METRO, EVENING STANDARD, REFINERY29, COSMOPOLITAN
'Tenants should be compulsory reading for every politician' – Pandora Sykes
'Open-minded and formidably informed, Spratt is a compelling narrator. Her stories of people wrenched from their homes by so-called no-fault evictions are startling and infuriating … it forces you to step back, look at the whole wretched system and think: "Why do we put up with this?"' The Times
'A major new book on the history and politics of renting' Evening Standard
Tony is facing eviction instead of enjoying retirement; Limarra isn't 'homeless enough' to get help from the council; and for Kelly and her asthmatic son Morgan, another new rented house is a matter of life and death. This is twenty-first century Britain, where millions are trying to build lives in privately rented accommodation, which creates profit for landlords but not safe and stable homes for tenants.
This fierce and moving account tells their stories, and the story of how we built a housing system where homelessness is a constant threat. Award-winning housing journalist Vicky Spratt traces decades of bad decisions to show how and why the British dream of homeownership has withered and the safety net of social housing has unravelled. She has spent years talking with those on the frontline all around the country. Here, she illuminates the ways this national emergency cuts across generations, class and education and is devastating our health, destroying communities and transforming the social, economic and political landscape beyond recognition.
But it is not irreversible. The Covid-19 pandemic showed that radical action is possible, and there are real steps we can take to give everyone the chance of a good home. This urgent, ground breaking book leads the way.