We welcome Shelter's Social Housing Commission.We believe the following points are crucial to protecting and extending the right to homes for all, that are safe and secure:
1. Independent tenant associations (TAs) are the best way to protect the lives and interests of tenants. Recognised and independently funded tenant organisation is key to ensure tenants were listened to.
Rebuilding TAs must go hand in hand with rebuilding council housing so that tenants are never again ignored, as they were at Grenfell.
2. Tighter regulation must apply to ALL landlords, including councils, TMOs, co-ops, housing associations and private landlords. Tenants must be central to inspections, reporting and monitoring. Unaccountable bureaucratic oversight can act as a pathway to privatisation, as it has in health and education.
3. The term "social housing" blurs important distinctions. Council housing still has life time secure tenancies, more rights and the lowest rents of any tenure, an accountable landlord and crucially, an alliance of tenants, trade unions, councillors and MPs actively defending these rights. Council housing is key to solving Britain's housing crisis, and we should beware of market-dominated fakes and imitations.
4. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Addison Act, which required local authorities to provide adequate housing and provided them the money and power to do so. The most fitting way of winning Justice for Grenfell is a commitment to safe, secure homes for all, through Government investment in more and better council housing.
The Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing is delighted to invite council tenants from across the country to meet MPs and give their views on the current issues and priorities for council housing.
The evidence session will take place on 9th July 6-8pm at the House of Commons. It will include a short slot for each delegation to say what they see as the main concerns in relation to council housing locally and nationally.
This can be backed up by written evidence if people want to go into more detail.
We hope this will be written up into a report, and will help to shape the argument for more direct investment in existing and new council housing.
Tenant groups from Leeds, Edinburgh, Carlisle, Swindon, Stroud, Cambridge and Harlow are among those so far saying they will take part. Joint delegations along with local trade unions and councillors are welcome.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.