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Homeward Bound

‘Think globally. Act locally.’ How many times have you heard that before? It’s the catch-cry on activists’ stickers and posters across the world. Embracing that spirit, Radio New Internationalist - which is normally produced at community radio station 3CR in Melbourne, Australia - is s’tepping outside its patch to collaborate with community radio stations in other countries. They select an issue of local concern. We bring in the international perspectives. When Murray Dawson - whose one of the driving forces behind SHMU FM in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, Scotland - put the privatization of public housing up for debate, progressive people from Cuba, England, Russia, and Germany stepped up to the microphones to share their views.

  • The British Government wants to move public housing off its books into the hands of housing associations. At first blush this might sound great - giving people a chance to run the blocks of homes that they live in. So why are communities voting against it? Glyn Robbins from the British organization Defend Council Housing Campaign reports.
  • In the full-blown sell-off of all Russian state assets that made multi-millionaires of some but impoverished most of the others, ordinary tenants in Moscow were offered the chance to own the homes they lived in. The sale price - nothing! But there’s a downside. Yelena Shomina from the State University Higher School of Economics in Moscow reveals it.
  • Forget the ‘bricks and mortar’ approach. Improving local economy and society is central to improving public housing. Hermann Strab from the Gras Group for Architecture and Town Planning in Germany and Dr José Fernando Martierena Hernández from the Ecomaterials in Social Housing project in Cuba outline their two World Habitat award-winning projects showcasing this community approach.

The invigorating music that’s threading its way through today’s program comes from those sons of son music, the Cuban band Sierra Maestra, from their Soul of a Nation CD.

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