platform films

A documentary on the commercialisation of social housing

A documentary on the commercialisation of social housing

Platform Films and the Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) are collaborating on a documentary highlighting the commercialisation of housing associations, their lack of accountability, and the harm they are causing to tenants and residents. It will encourage resistance from tenants and workers, and outline the strategies that can be developed.

The total cost of the film will be £12,950 and any contribution you are able to make toward this film will be gratefully received. All donors will be credited in the final film.

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You can watch the film’s TRAILER here:

The sheer scale of the housing crisis makes housing a working class and trade union issue. Few members will remain unaffected by it.

Housing associations (HAs) are often absent from the discourse on the problem, or are presented positively as part of the solution.

Public perception is that HAs remain true to their founding principles of providing good quality housing at rent levels considerably below prevailing costs, and therefore accessible to the majority of working class people.

The reality is starkly different. Increasingly, associations are obsessively focussed on profit generation, developing properties for market rent and sale, and expansion of their power through mergers and acquisitions. Government policy, regulatory institutions and finance houses all support this line of travel. Board members are selected from construction, finance, and banking. They demonstrate little empathy with, or concern for, their organisation’s end users.

The provision of quality social housing, housing support, and homelessness prevention is being abandoned. Tenants and residents are commodities to be traded. Staff are a corporate resource to be exploited. None are living, breathing human beings whose lives can be devastated when their employer or landlord mistreats them.

the aim of our film

the aim of our film

Our film will educate the public about the need for reform of the housing association sector and for democratic accountability to tenants and workers. It will argue that ultimately, social housing must be delivered by local authorities.

We will hear from tenants and workers about the growing resistance movement within the sector, the victories already won, and the strategies for achieving lasting positive change.

Yours fraternally,

Chris Reeves – Platform Films

Suzanne Muna – Social Housing Action Campaign

about us

about us

07973 278 956

Platform Films’ TV credits include: ‘The Cause of Ireland’ which won the Tyne Award in 1983, ‘The People’s Flag’, a five part series on labour history for Channel 4, ‘Who Killed Mark Faulkner?’, a three part forensic and social investigation into the life and death of a young homeless disabled man for BBC2 and a feature length documentary on the first Gulf War screened on Channel 4’s Critical Eye.

Platform has also made over 400 non-broadcast films for trade unions including the RMT, the NUT, T&G, UNITE, CYWU, the GMB, CWU, SERTUC,and the NUM. It has also worked with The Institute of Employment Rights, Tower Hamlets NHS, Hackney Council, The National Literacy Trust, Amnesty International, the Morning Star, Writers’ Republic/UNISON, the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, the BBC World Service and educational film producer/distributor TV Choice.

‘The Miners’ Campaign Tape Project’, made with the NUM in support of the 1984/85 miners’ strike involved 15 independent film groups and was co-ordinated and the tapes edited by Platform Films. It won the Grierson Award for innovative documentary and raised many tens of thousands of pounds for the miners both in the UK and around the world. The DVD is now distributed by the British Film Institute

‘Wapping – the workers’ story’ is a new documentary by platform films and the News International Dispute Archive The film can be viewed on-line at: for: £2.25.

A DVD version with extras is available from: price: £8.00 + £2.00 P&P.

Also available is ‘Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets’ –

From platform films: working for the movement since 1982

Film-making services: union histories, issue-based films, meetings, demos, promos, social media shorts, animation autocue, green screen, DVD copying and printing, 16mm film to HD digital transfer, and an extensive labour movement film archive

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In 2016, the Unite’s Housing Workers Branch (LE1111) concluded that it had considerable common cause with tenants and residents. Our common enemy was often the greed and ruthlessness of housing association executives in an increasingly commercialised, market-driven, development dominated sector. Its members realised that to win, they would need to form a united front with tenants and residents.

Under the guidance of the Unite Housing branch, SHAC evolved from a broad network of housing campaign groups, tenants’ and residents’ associations, and housing activists, all with a strong appetite to share information and build solidarity. There was also a strong imperative to link with workers involved in industrial disputes within the sector. By June 2018, the initial network had grown sufficiently to relaunch as SHAC.

SHAC actively campaigns for: better repairs, in-house services, democratic tenant and resident empowerment, unionisation of the workforce, transparent and reasonable service charges, and the implementation fire safety work funded by landlords’ reserves. Its long-term demands include giving tenant the right to transfer to councils. More recently, SHAC has been at the forefront of the anti-eviction campaign, and has begun to establish resident groups by landlord, including Clarion, One Housing Group, and Hexagon.

SHAC provides information and resources to tenants, residents and housing activists through its website, and regular public meetings. It has a formal membership of almost 500 people, but a much wider reach through its website, campaigning activity, and social media.