For the past couple of years, many of us involved in Digs have been working hard with others to set up the London Renters Union. So many of the problems our members in Hackney we’re facing – unfair evictions, rip-off rent increases and no security – couldn’t be solved locally, and we knew we needed much more power if we’re were going to see the radical change to the housing market private renters so desperately need. So in 2016, alongside other grass-roots groups like the Radical Housing Network, Take Back the City and PEACH, we started work to build a mass, member-led union that can redress the fucked-up power imbalance between people who own property and people who don’t.
It’s really exciting how quickly the union is growing. We now have three branches in Newham, Lewisham and most recently in Hackney! We’ve decided to make Digs part of the Hackney branch of the London Renters Union. We use mutual aid and direct action to support our members, and have started figuring out what we want our big London-wide campaigns to be.