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Cable Live: Peter Apps talks Grenfell, buildings safety and where the housing crisis goes next

Journalist and author Peter Apps discusses the Grenfell inquiry, how the UK neglected its social housing, and what the future looks like.


Peter Apps is a journalist at the specialist magazine Inside Housing, and author of the Orwell Prize-winning book, Show Me the Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen.

In the first episode of our new Cable Live podcast strand – where we sit down with writers, academics and activists from across the UK, putting the Cable’s work in the national conversation – he is in conversation with Ruth Day, a Bristol-based housing activist and campaigner.

As part of the Cable’s ongoing speaker series, Peter is talking to Ruth about the failings that led up to the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017 in which 72 people lost their lives, the wider housing crisis – and what the future might look like.

The discussion took place on Friday 3 November, just days before Bristol City Council suddenly and chaotically evacuated one of the city’s high-rises over fears it was structurally unsafe. About 400 people who were living in that block – Barton House, in Barton Hill – have been left temporarily homeless as a result, turning their lives upside down.

Within this talk, Pete explores how we got here: how social housing and building safety were neglected over decades in the UK – leading to a crisis in affordability, and pushing people into unacceptable and sometimes dangerous housing conditions.

Peter Apps’ book, Show Me the Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen, which explores the Grenfell Tower disaster, the failures that led up to it, and its aftermath, is available now.

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