Behind the scenes

Inside the Big Issue: Kwajo Tweneboa's home truths for new government

Britain’s most high-profile housing campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa tells the Big Issue how we should fix the nation's affordable housing shortage.

Inside the Big Issue

If the new government fails to take any decisive action to end the housing crisis that’s been growing for decades, they can’t say they weren’t given every opportunity.

Big Issue’s Blueprint for Change has already laid strong foundations for political leaders to do what generations of MPs have failed to do: ensure everyone has a safe and affordable home.

That won’t be the only plan the prime minister can build on – he’ll have Kwajo Tweneboa’s too. Britain’s most high-profile housing campaigner now has his own book Our Country in Crisis, released just two weeks after the country voted for who would sit in Number 10 for the next five years.

The book goes broader than Tweneboa’s own experiences and those of the hundreds of tenants that he has helped hold their landlords’ feet to the fire since rising to fame on social media in 2021. It is a comprehensive breakdown of the problems with housing in the UK and its causes, from a failure to build much-needed social housing and the impact of Right to Buy, to stigma and housing being treated as a wealth asset rather than a basic necessity. It also offers a solution, while at the heart of the book, much like Tweneboa’s work, are the people living with the everyday horrors of the housing crisis as it exists today.

“It’s not just a coming-of-age book, but also a manifesto for change,” Tweneboa tells Big Issue. “If in five years’ time things are completely pear-shaped, nobody can say they weren’t warned.”

Read more in this week’s Big Issue!

What else is in this week’s Big Issue?

A years-long strike in further education threatens the futures of working-class students

In the last 20 years, the further education sector has contracted in the face of underfunding, leaving working-class students without avenues to learning.

“FE was always the place for working-class kids to go, people who maybe wouldn’t consider university as a first step, or who need good training to get a better job,” says English and Spanish lecturer Paula Dixon, speaking to Big Issue from the picket line of Glasgow Clyde College’s Anniesland campus in late June. “But year on year they’re cutting the funding.”

How horror movies speak to our fears in turbulent times

From presidential debates to any discussion on social media, politics is often absolutely horrifying. Watching the news can be like watching a horror film. Or is it the other way around? Are the terrors on screen simply a reflection of our political reality?

Cardboard Citizens explores the many faces of homelessness

Cardboard Citizens is a charity that uses drama and performance to transform the lives of people experiencing homelessness. They have created a new series of short films in collaboration with Black Apron Entertainment, called More Than One Story. Each of the nine monologues explores a reason for somebody becoming homeless – from domestic violence to failures in the care or prison system.

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? Get in touch and tell us moreBig Issue exists to give homeless and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income. To support our work buy a copy of the magazine or get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

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