Platform for City Culture and Public Debate


The Rent Emergency

w/ Vicky Spratt

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Date: Wednesday 1 November 2023
Time: 20:00 – 22:00
Location: Independent School, Delftsestraat 33
Admission: 10,- (regular), €6,- (reduced)
Language: English

ATTENTION: This is the new date for this event, which was initially scheduled for 14.09.23. Tickets remain valid, as do the earlier purchased 3-for-2 fall discount tickets. Can’t make the new date? Please email to for a refund.

On Wednesday 1 November we welcome award-winning journalist Vicky Spratt, author of Tenants: The People on the Frontline of Britain’s Housing Emergency. Her book offers critical insight into twenty-first century Britain, where millions are trying to build lives in privately rented accommodation, which creates profit for landlords but not safe and stable homes for tenants, while also offering important lessons regarding the Dutch housing crisis.

The past decades have seen the gap between the poorest and wealthiest grow into a chasm. The stripping of social safety nets has paved the way for the stripping of public assets for profit. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Britain’s housing market. Today, the commodification and wholesale financialisation of housing has had a profound global impact on access to secure and truly affordable housing, an issue all too visible in the Netherlands as well.

Vicky Spratt traces decades of bad decisions to show how and why the British dream of homeownership has withered and the safety net of social housing has unravelled. She has spent years talking with those on the frontline all around the country and illuminates the ways this national emergency cuts across generations, class and education and is devastating our health, destroying communities and transforming the social, economic and political landscape beyond recognition. Also, she shows that radical action is possible, and that there are real steps we can take to give everyone the chance of a good home.

Spratt will be joined by Dutch housing activist Melissa Koutouzis, co-initiator of het Woonprotest and the Dutch Housing Manifesto.

This programme was conceived by De Dépendance guest curator Hani Salih.


Vicky Spratt

Vicky Spratt is a journalist whose work regularly shapes public policy. Her 2016 campaign ‘Make Renting Fair’ led to letting fees in England and Wales being banned. She has appeared on BBC News, Newsnight, Woman’s Hour, Radio 4 and NTS Radio. In 2020, she was nominated as Journalist of the Year at the Drum Awards for Online Media, and in 2021 her stories saw her shortlisted for a British Journalism award. She was also a finalist for the inaugural 2023 Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness. She is the i Paper’s Housing Correspondent and the author of the acclaimed Tenants: The People at the Frontline of Britain’s Housing Emergency.

Melissa Koutouzis

Melissa Koutouzis has been a housing activist for over 6 years and is the co-initiator of het Woonprotest and the Dutch Housing Manifesto. She is mainly involved in organizing coalition and movement building of the housing movement in the Netherlands, and thinks and writes on various initiatives to help improve national and municipal housing policies. She works for the Transnational Institute where among other things she coordinates the Transformative Cities project, which focuses on citizens collectives, social movements and local governments successfully campaigning for the right to water, food, energy and housing.

Hani Salih

Hani Salih is a researcher, writer, editor and curator sitting at the edge of a long list of disciplines and practices; Starting with architecture all the way over to systems and policy. Hani is interested in understanding wider contexts to social and cultural phenomena and is currently doing this through his teaching work in architecture and design education.

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