Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

Watch Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

  • 2017
  • 1 hr 22 min
  • 7.2  (135)

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a 2017 British documentary narrated by actor and activist Maxine Peake. The film explores the causes and consequences of the social housing crisis in the UK and how property developers, politicians, and financial institutions have played a role in exacerbating it. The documentary visits different areas of the country that have been impacted by the housing crisis, including London, Glasgow, and Stoke-on-Trent. It features interviews with residents, housing activists, architects, and politicians, including the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

The film argues that social housing has been systematically dismantled over the past few decades, with housing policies favoring homeownership and private renting over investments in social housing. It shows how this trend has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable homes, forcing low-income families and vulnerable people into temporary accommodation, homelessness, or substandard living conditions.

One of the main points made by the documentary is that the housing crisis is not a natural disaster but a political choice. It points to the role of developers and landlords who seek to maximize their profits by buying up social housing, renovating it, and renting it out at higher prices. The film argues that this has led to a wave of gentrification and displacement, as working-class communities are driven out of their neighborhoods due to rising rents and property values.

The documentary also highlights the social cost of the housing crisis, showing how it affects people's health, education, and wellbeing. It features powerful testimonies from residents who have experienced homelessness or who have been moved away from their families and communities due to the lack of affordable homes.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a visually stunning film with a strong activist tone. It features striking aerial shots of cities and housing estates, juxtaposing the beauty of the urban landscape with the stark reality of poverty and deprivation. The film also uses archival footage, cartoons, and animations to convey complex ideas in an engaging and accessible way.

The documentary does not offer easy solutions to the housing crisis, but it encourages viewers to think critically about the role of housing in society and to imagine alternative models of housing that prioritize social need over profit. The film also empowers viewers to take action, pointing to grassroots campaigns and initiatives that are fighting for social justice and housing rights.

Overall, Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a powerful and urgent call to action, exposing the injustices of the housing system and inspiring viewers to demand change. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in social justice, human rights, or urbanism.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 22 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (135)