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Stuart Hodkinson
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About the BOOK

The Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 that killed 72 people has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing, deregulation and landlords turning a blind eye to residents’ safety concerns.


Stuart Hodkinson is an academic and campaigner who has worked for over a decade with residents’ groups across the UK, documenting their shocking regeneration experiences at the hands of private companies allowed to self-regulate on quality in lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. His research has focused on council housing regeneration schemes in London under the infamous Private Finance Initiative (PFI).


In this book, Safe as Houses: Private Greed, Political Negligence and Housing Policy after Grenfell (Manchester University Press, 2019), he weaves these stories together to help understand why Grenfell happened and how it could easily happen again. A terrifying pattern is presented in which the initial promise of better quality housing melts away, leaving residents to grapple with unsafe work, higher rents and service charges, and a united front of local authority landlords and their private contractors determined to ignore, deflect, and even silence those who speak out.


The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation for good. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to residents.

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upcoming events

Wednesday 27th March 2019 - 7pm-8.30pm

Stuart will be launching the book at Blackwells' new bookshop in Manchester with Phil Murphy, former firefighter and now prominent campaigner on resident safety and empowerment issues.

Venue: University Green

146 Oxford Road

Manchester, M13 9GP

Saturday 30th March 2019 - 10am-4pm

Stuart will be speaking with Phil Murphy and Justice4Grenfell in a workshop on 'Housing Safety after Grenfell' at this special conference on what we can do to stop bad housing making us sick.

Venue: Unite the Union

33-37 Moreland Street

London, EC1V 8BB

Sunday 31st March 2019 - 12.30pm-1.30pm

Stuart will be speaking with Beth Stratford on the UK housing crisis at the Still Rethinking: The Need for Pluralism in Economics conference (30-31 March 2019) organised by Rethinking Economics Greenwich (REG) and the Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (PEGFA) at the University of Greenwich.

Venue: Queen Anne Court

Park Row

University of Greenwich

London, SE10 9LS 

Wednesday 10th April 2019 - 6.30pm

Stuart will be launching the book at the annual Housing Studies Association Conference alongside the launch of the Radical Housing Journal. The book launch is free and open to the public but the conference itself has fees - check out the HSA conference website for more information.

Venue: Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria Hotel

Victoria Station Road

Sheffield, S4 7YE

Edinburgh: Mini Mayday Bookfair

Sunday 5th May 2019 - details to be confirmed

Friday 14 June 2019 - 7pm 

Housmans Bookshop

5 Caledonian Road

King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX


"A timely and important book, exposing how private profit and reckless privatisation have caused unspeakable tragedies to social housing in this country."


Labour MP for Tottenham and author of Out of the Ashes: Britain After the Riots (2011)

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