A guest at a controversial housing awards ceremony was caught on camera laughing at a social housing activist trying to highlight the ‘squalor’ many tenants are living in.
Social housing activist and Clarion tenant, Kwajo Tweneboa, 23, filmed a group of guests making their way towards the UK Housing Awards in Greenwich on Thursday night (November 25).
The awards ceremony was protested for its opulence with free food and Champagne, despite many tenants struggling with mould, pests, and filth in award-nominated housing association properties.
READ MORE: Tenants ‘living in cockroach-ridden squalor’ feel ‘sick’ as housing boss on £411k gets £51k bonus
He can be heard saying to the group: “Do you agree with social housing? Do you agree that people should live with sh** running down their walls?
“Do you think people should live in mould? Enjoy the Champagne that we funded.”
The guest, standing at the back of the group, appears to be laughing and smirking as she walks away from the camera.
Kwajo told MyLondon: “She said something along the lines of, ‘yeah we’ll make sure we do drink it, and we’ll drink all of it’, and then started laughing when I started laughing – it’s an absolute joke.”
He added: “I’d love to know what Platform Housing Group have to say, it’s an absolute disgrace.”
Hundreds of Twitter users reacted in shock over the delegates’ detached responses to the protesters, and called it “shameful”.
One wrote: “Slap up meal and champagne campaign whilst social housing in this country is on its KNEES.
“These lot know how to boil peoples blood, I swear.”
(Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
An activist from last night said: “Housing associations are out of control.
“Despite this year’s revelations around the appalling state of their properties, they went ahead with their fancy awards show as if they have a record to be proud of.
“So a few of us showed up to spoil the party.”
A third said: “They have no shame.”
Kwajo was joined by dozens of activists from the London Renters Union, SHAC, Radical Housing and Unite Housing as they blocked busy roads outside the UK Housing Awards, a prestigious awards ceremony for housing associations and councils operating across the country.
Many of the organisations shortlisted, including Clarion Housing Group’s charity foundation, Clarion Futures, as well as Lewisham Homes and Southwark Council, have been slammed by London tenants living in squalor and threatened with eviction notices.
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Kwajo alleged that several guests handed security guards unwanted leaflets they had been given by activists.
Marion Duffy, Platform’s chief operations officer said the guest was invited by the housing association and wasn’t an employee.
She added: “The young girl in question was in fact a guest of our company and isn’t a member of staff.
“She formed part of our award entry about the services we provide and was therefore invited to join us as a thank you for her hard work.
“We recognise it was an ill-judged response but any staff member would be well aware of issues affecting customers at the moment.
“It’s why we provide support like our Wellbeing Fund which has given out nearly £1 million to customers who have applied for help from us.”
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