Housing activist ready to ‘shake up Westminster’ after national award win

·2-min read
Housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa  (Martyn Ewoma / Instagram)
Housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa (Martyn Ewoma / Instagram)

Housing rights activist Kwajo Tweneboa was announced the winner of the Young Campaigner Award on Thursday and plans to keep “shaking up Westminster from the outside”.

Mr Tweneboa won the title at the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards 2022 for his work to shine a light on the appalling living conditions of social housing tenants – starting with his own.

The south Londoner lived in Mitcham with his late father, while the latter received cancer treatment, in “inhumane” conditions before exposing the disrepair online.

He was met with an outpouring of support from housing professionals and others in similar situations.

The 23-year-old student’s Twitter campaign against housing firm Clairon has resulted in more than 600 repairs on Eastfields estate since June 2021.

Since its public shaming, Clarion said it knocked on the door of “each and every home” in Eastfields to tell residents of its plans for the area.

Steve Bartlett chimed in with a massive £10k pledge and mentoring for Kwajo, who believes he is already paying it forward through his work.

Mayor Sadiq Khan and Secretary of State for Housing Michael Gove also met with the young campaigner to discuss change.

But Kwajo said they have only “scratched the surface” in addressing these issues and is not afraid to tell those in power that “these changes aren’t enough”.

SMK Awards judge Patrick Steen hailed Kwajo the “Marcus Rashford for the social housing world” - a fellow activist who Kwajo said he could see himself “teaming up” with in the future.

Mr Tweneboa said: “This win shows how close the issue is to so many hearts and for that I am grateful.

“I don’t see it as an award for myself but a message to other social housing tenants that they are being heard – and that it’s about the power of collective action.”

On his future plans, he added: “I haven’t decided on if I’m going into politics but for now I’ll be shaking up Westminster from the outside.”

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