Betiel Mehari: Southwark Council election candidate 2018, Newington ward

My name is Betiel Mehari and I am a housing
campaigner, an activist. I was trying to save my home and provide a safe, affordable and
secure home for my two children, who are quite young, 10 and 11. It led to the next campaign
that I’m doing right now, which is affordable housing. I’m that age, at 46, I should be
able to have a secure affordable home. However, with the housing crisis, I am not able. My landlord, which is Guinness Trust, have
offered me something called 80%-of-the-market “affordable” rent, which for an ordinary person
is unaffordable. I believe in three things. In rent control,
in residents having a voice, so in ballots, being able to say always refurbishment and
not demolition, and being able to save social housing, because most of them, there’s nothing
wrong with them, in terms of structure. The majority of the time it’s not to do with the
structure, it’s actually to do with using those assets to make a lot of money. I didn’t get into politics as a career, I
didn’t get into politics for money. If I get elected I’ll be able to fight to save social
housing within Southwark, to ensure that existing communities in London can stay, the traders
in Elephant & Castle can have a voice. I decided that the best party to stand for is the Green
Party, because they understand that working-class people are struggling to afford their rent,
struggling to survive.

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