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Tenants in Warsaw organize against high heating costs

Tenants in Warsaw organize against high heating costs

polish with engl. subtitles

|

5 min

| 2018 |

hits: 824

Over 70 percent of public tenements in Warsaw have no central heating. So around 50,000 families must use the most expensive method of heating: electricity. Unable to afford the cost of rent, the cost of heating and the cost of basic necessities like food, many tenants must choose among these and take out loans.

In November 2017, the Warsaw Tenants’ Association (WSL) initiated a campaign against the high costs of heating. The most eager response came from women tenants in the South Praga district of the city. Many of these women are single mothers who struggle to make ends meet while working at home and for wages in low-paid jobs.

Over the past months, these women have put great effort into organizing protests in their district, hanging banners on their buildings, and distributing flyers to neighbors. As a result of their campaign, the city government was forced to relegate funding from the central budget to local districts for hooking up public tenements to central heating.

This short film documents one of the first gains of the struggle against the high costs of heating – a special council session of the South Praga district authorities on this problem.The authorities were unable to break down this collective struggle into individual problems.

WSL demands that all public tenements get connected to central heating. Until this is done, the city must 1) cease collecting rent from tenants living in public housing without central heating, 2) subsidize their electricity bills, 3) cancel their rent debts, and 4) stop evictions.

team: WSL

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