Papering Over the Cracks - A Documentary by the Seven Towers Residents Group
9 Nov 2011
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family..... (Article 25: The United Nations universal declaration of human rights)
The Seven Towers Residents Group works in the New Lodge area of North Belfast, an area of long standing chronic housing need and inequality. The group uses a human rights based approach to organising residents on their housing issues. Through a combination of robust monitoring of government performance, resident training and development, and the use of domestic and international human rights and equality tools, the group challenges the poor living conditions they are forced to endure and hold those responsible to account - while proposing constructive and reasonable solutions.
The documentary tells the story of residents waiting over 5 months for their flats to be cleaned up following a serious fire incident; of mothers forced to live in unacceptable conditions with their young children; of residents who experienced sewage leaks and other maintenance problems. Finally, it tells the story of how the residents of the Seven Towers are trying to ensure a proposed £7m investment addresses their housing problems, and is not simply used to protect the bricks and mortar of the Towers themselves. Importantly it tells the story of residents trying to ensure their voices are heard by decision makers intent on ignoring their needs and their rights.
This film is a powerful story about the dignity and persistence of some of the most marginalised in our society to realise meaningful change in their lives and living conditions in the face of systemic resistance to change by government and public bodies.
If you would like to find out more about the work of PPR visit our website www.pprproject.org.