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Role of Social Housing, Hills & after

Press Coverage
Martin Wicks, Keep our council homes
21/03/17

Inside Housing
14/02/17

24dash.com
06/02/17

Inside Housing
12/01/17

Inside Housing
06/12/16

Toby Helms, Observer
10/04/16

Yvonne Roberts, Observer
14/02/16

John Marais, Observer
14/02/16

Morning Star
11/02/16

Elizabeth Spring et al, Guardian
06/01/16

Barbara Ellen, Observer
13/12/15

Deborah Orr, Guardian
11/12/15

Guardian
10/12/15

Guardian
10/12/15

24dash.com
24/11/15

ARCH newsletter
30/10/15

ARCH newsletter
30/10/15

Inside Housing
29/10/15

Dawn Foster, Guardian
27/10/15

Guardian
08/07/15

Inside Housing
08/07/15

Zoe Williams, Guardian
06/07/15

NN, images/benefitworkshop13june.jpg
30/05/15

YY, images/TenManifesto2015web.jpg
15/03/15

Telegraph
25/08/13

Inside Housing
29/07/13

24dash.com
15/01/13

24dash.com
05/12/12

24dash.com
02/10/12

Martin Wicks, Wordpress
29/09/12

Inside Housing
01/08/12

Shelter
31/07/12

24dash.com
31/07/12

Inside Housing
31/07/12

Wordpress
30/07/12

Inside Housing
12/07/12

Wordpress
20/06/12

Inside Housing
19/06/12

Morning Star
13/06/12

Inside Housing
13/06/12

Kate Webb, Shelter
23/05/12

Inside Housing
21/05/12

Guardian
01/01/12

Inside Housing website
02/11/11

Inside Housing
28/07/11

Huffington Post
23/07/11

Inside Housing
07/07/11

Inside Housing
24/06/11

Inside Housing
21/06/11

Inside Housing
08/06/11

Inside Housing
07/06/11

Inside Housing
06/06/11

Inside Housing
06/06/11

Inside Housing
03/06/11

Inside Housing
18/05/11

Glyn Robbins, Guardian
18/05/11

Inside Housing
17/05/11

Inside Housing
16/05/11

Suzanne Patrick; Hal Pawson, Shelter/Heriot Watt University
10/05/11

Inside Housing
03/05/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
11/04/11

Inside Housing
18/03/11

Inside Housing
11/03/11

Inside Housing
10/03/11

Inside Housing
10/03/11

Inside Housing
10/03/11

Inside Housing
09/03/11

Inside Housing
16/02/11

Inside Housing
11/02/11

Inside Housing
04/02/11

Inside Housing
26/01/11

Inside Housing
18/01/11

Inside Housing
17/01/11

Daily Telegraph
11/01/11

Shelter
03/01/11

Brighton Argus
16/12/10

Morning Star
15/12/10

UK Disability News
15/12/10

CLG
13/12/10

Inside Housing
10/12/10

The Guardian
03/12/10

Inside Housing
23/11/10

CLG
22/11/10

The Guardian
21/11/10

Inside Housing
21/11/10

Inside Housing
29/10/10

Socialist Worker
23/10/10

Inside Housing
21/10/10

Inside Housing
21/10/10

CLG
20/10/10

Inside Housing
19/10/10

Inside Housing
19/10/10

BBC
19/10/10

The Telegraph
18/10/10

Channel 4 News
17/10/10

Morning Star
11/10/10

Inside Housing
30/09/10

Inside Housing
30/09/10

Inside Housing
27/09/10

Inside Housing
24/09/10

Inside Housing
24/09/10

Inside Housing
24/09/10

Inside Housing
17/09/10

Inside Housing
03/09/10

Inside Housing
27/08/10

Socialist Worker
14/08/10

Inside Housing
13/08/10

Inside Housing
13/08/10

Guardian
12/08/10

Guardian
12/08/10

Janet Daley, Telegraph
07/08/10

Inside Housing
06/08/10

Inside Housing
05/08/10

Guardian
05/08/10

Jon Swaine, Telegraph
04/08/10

The Guardian
03/08/10

Inside Housing
03/08/10

BBC
03/08/10

Sunday Mirror
20/06/10

Inside Housing
30/04/10

Inside Housing
16/04/10

Inside Housing
09/04/10

Inside Housing
19/03/10

Inside Housing
22/01/10

Inside Housing
15/01/10

Inside Housing
08/01/10

CLG
09/12/09

BBC
02/12/09

Inside Housing
20/11/09

Inside Housing
13/11/09

Inside Housing
06/11/09

Inside Housing
06/11/09

Inside Housing
23/10/09

Inside Housing
09/10/09

Inside Housing
09/10/09

Daily Mirror
07/09/09

Daily Mirror
07/09/09

Inside Housing
07/09/09

Inside Housing
07/08/09

Inside Housing
07/08/09

Inside Housing
19/06/09

Inside Housing
19/06/09

Inside Housing
19/06/09

Inside Housing
12/06/09

Inside Housing
12/06/09

Inside Housing
05/06/09

Inside Housing
05/06/09

BBC
14/05/09

Deborah Orr, Independent
05/03/09

24dash
03/03/09

BBC Radio 4
26/02/09

Inside Housing
30/01/09

Inside Housing
30/01/09

Inside Housing
09/01/09

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

James Beatie, Daily Mirror
03/12/08

Inside Housing
26/11/08

Tim Dwelly, Inside Housing
21/11/08

Public Finance
14/11/08

Alan Walter, Inside Housing
14/11/08

Jill Sherman and Rebecca OConnor , Times
14/11/08

Adam Sampson/Kate Davies, Times
14/11/08

Inside Housing
14/11/08

Emily Rogers, Inside Housing
12/11/08

Sheffield Star
12/11/08

Sheffield Star
11/11/08

Editorial, Sheffield Star
11/11/08

Austin Mitchell, Times
11/11/08

Jill Sherman, Times
10/11/08

Leader, Times
10/11/08

BBC
10/11/08

Inside Housing
10/11/08

Adam Sampson, Guardian
10/11/08

Martin Hilditch, Inside Housing
28/10/08

Martin Hilditch, Inside Housing
28/10/08

Inside Housing
22/10/08

CIG
21/10/08

Inside Housing
17/10/08

Inside Housing
17/10/08

Inside Housing
13/10/08

Inside Housing
08/10/08

CIH
07/10/08

Ian Keys, NLGN
01/10/08

Inside Housing
19/09/08

Inside Housing
17/09/08

Inside Housing
08/08/08

Will Hutton, Observer
27/07/08

Inside Housing
13/06/08

Inside Housing
13/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Inside Housing
30/05/08

Inside Housing
30/05/08

CCHPR
27/05/08

Inside Housing
22/05/08

Jamie Doward, Observer
04/05/08

DWP
01/05/08

Jason Allardyce , Sunday Times
06/04/08

Gaby Hinsliff, Observer
06/04/08

Inside Housing
14/03/08

Simon Brandon, Inside Housing
22/02/08

John Harris, Guardian
08/02/08

Martin Hilditch , Inside Housing
08/02/08

Martin Hilditch , Inside Housing
08/02/08

Bob Roberts, Daily Mirror
06/02/08

various, Guardian
06/02/08

Adam Sampson, New Statesman
06/02/08

Jill Sherman, Times
06/02/08

Lynsey Hanley, Guardian
06/02/08

Patrick Wintour, Guardian
06/02/08

Adam Sampson, Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Leader, Guardian
06/02/08

Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Bob Roberts, Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Caroline Flint, Fabian Society Lecture
05/02/08

24dash
05/02/08

Adam Sampson, Guardian
05/02/08

BBC
05/02/08

Patrick Wintour, Guardian
05/02/08

Rosalind Ryan and Andrew Sparrow , Guardian Unlimited
05/02/08

Caroline Flint, C:G
05/02/08

Independent
05/02/08

Inside Housing
01/02/08

Jill Treanor , Guardian
30/01/08

Andrew Clark , Guardian
30/01/08

Emily Rogers , Inside Housing
14/12/07

Inside Housing
14/12/07

Yvette Cooper , CLG
12/12/07

Citizens Advice
12/12/07

Inside Housing
07/12/07

Human City Institute
30/11/07

The Scottish Government,
31/10/07

Inside Housing
04/10/07

Martin Hilditch, Inside Housing
14/09/07

Martin Hilditch , Inside Housing
13/09/07

Housing market at high risk from shock, Financial Times
30/07/07

BBC
15/07/07

Martin Hickman, Independent
11/07/07

Martin Hilditch , Inside Housing
15/06/07

Anindya Bhattacharyya, Socialist Worker
12/06/07

Richard Hammond, Daily Mirror
09/06/07

Sharlene Goff , Financial Times
02/06/07

Karen Day, Public Finance
04/05/07

Ruth Kelly, Guardian Comment
30/03/07

Alan Walter, Guardian
29/03/07

Adam Sampson, Guardian
28/03/07

Faisal Islam, New Statesman
05/03/07

Lynsey Hanley, Observer (letters)
04/03/07

John Perry, Public Finance
02/03/07

Kate Murray, Inside Housing
01/03/07

Anita Pati , Inside Housing
01/03/07

Austin Mitchell MP, John and Sharon Marais..., Observer
25/02/07

Public Finance
23/02/07

Inside Housing
23/02/07

Inside Housing
23/02/07

Editorial, Independent
21/02/07

Andy McSmith, Independent
21/02/07

Alison Benjamin, Guardian
21/02/07

Bob Roberts, Mirror
21/02/07

Editorial, Mirror
21/02/07

Sue Carroll , Mirror
21/02/07

Bob Roberts, Daily Mirror
21/02/07

Alan Walter, Society Guardian
20/02/07

DCLG Press Release
20/02/07

Prof John Hills, Case, LSE
20/02/07

Matt Weaver, Society Guardian
20/02/07

Steve Richards, Independent
20/02/07

Rosemary Bennett, The Times
20/02/07

Mirror
20/02/07

BBC
20/02/07

24dash.com
20/02/07

Mirror
20/02/07

24 Dash
20/02/07

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
20/02/07

Angela Phillips , Guardian Comment
19/02/07

Bob Roberts, Mirror
19/02/07

24dash
19/02/07

Bob Roberts , Mirror
19/02/07

Bob Roberts, Daily Mirror
19/02/07

Will Hutton, Observer
18/02/07

Huma Qureshi , Observer
18/02/07

Public Finance
16/02/07

Lynsey Hanley , Guardian
14/02/07

BBC
14/02/07

Ruth Kelly, Fabian Society Lecture
14/02/07

Lynsey Hanley, Guardian
14/02/07

Jill Sherman, The Times
14/02/07

Times
13/02/07

Times
13/02/07

Patrick Wintour, Guardian
13/02/07

Patrick Wintour, Guardian
13/02/07

Ruth Kelly Speech, Fabian Society
13/02/07

Smith Institute
20/07/06

Rebecca Evans, Inside Housing
30/06/06

Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research
31/03/06

Inside Housing
06/08/04

Inside Housing
30/07/04

01/01/00, IPPR
19/01/00

'Role of Social Housing': Hills and the debate...
Professor John Hills published his Ends & Means report on the ‘Role of Social Housing’ on Feb 20 2007. (Download Hills and Cave Issues DCH Factsheet).
It is clear that someone – we presume Ruth Kelly’s Department for Communities – is briefing that Hills has endorsed an attack on the fundamental principles of council housing.
It is obvious that Ministers are increasingly desperate – losing the Brighton ballot (another 77% NO vote announced today) increases the pressure on them to listen to the people and agree the ‘Fourth Option’ but they are still intent on trying to find a way of getting rid of council housing. Hill’s position is less clear.
Professor Hills went out of his way at the LSE yesterday afternoon to preface his main remarks by underlining his commitment to the principles of ‘decent’, ‘affordable’ and ‘secure’ housing. He said:
"if you came with the impression that I was going to be recommending the ending of security of tenure, or that tenants if they're lucky enough to improve their circumstances will be thrown out of their homes, then you're going to be disappointed."… "security and stability are a fundamental part of their lives"
Tenants packed a room at Parliament after the Hills report launch to launch the new DCH pamphlet 'Dear Gordon' Invest in decent, affordable, secure and accountable council housing which challenges Gordon Brown to change government policy.
MPs attending included Michael Meacher, Frank Dobson, Ken Purchase, Jon Cruddas, Paul Holmes, George Galloway, Kelvin Hopkins, Brian Iddon, Alan Simpson, Harriet Harman, Mike Gapes, John Hemming and Brian Binley. Trade union leaders Gail Cartmail (Amicus), Jack Dromey (T&G), Iain McNicol (GMB) and Wilf Flinn (UCATT) spoke alongside Professor Peter Ambrose and tenants from local campaigns.
Alan Walter, Defend Council Housing chair argued “Government has been trying to get rid of council housing by privatisation. Now that they’re losing tenants ballots around the country they’re flying a kite to see whether they can regulate or legislate to take away our secure life long tenancies. 3 million council tenants will be outraged and MPs need to decide quickly which side they are on! Stop the deliberate stigmatisation of council tenants and council estates and start investing to improve existing council homes and build new ones”
Austin Mitchell MP, chair House of Commons Council Housing group commented “The Hills report is an endorsement of the principles behind council housing – the need and the right to decent, affordable, secure and accountable housing provided by elected local authorities. What he missed out was the need for the big build – to provide council housing for those who either can’t afford or don’t want to get on the home ownership escalator.”
The Hills report does open a door – he talks about ‘offering’ people who approach the council in housing need and existing tenants ‘alternatives’. Ruth Kelly has pounced on an opportunity. In government language ‘offer’ means force or coerce so she’s trying to fly some kites to whether people (council tenants and MPs) will stomach proposals on means testing the right to a council home; differential rents and/or time limited tenancy agreements. Any attempt to restrict the ‘right to rent’ decent, affordable, secure council housing from an accountable landlord will face massive opposition. It also makes a mockery of the government’s stated aim of creating ‘sustainable communities’. Restricting access to council housing to only the poorest creates distorted and transient communities and denies council tenants the right to a ‘home’ as opposed to somewhere just to temporarily lay our heads down for the night.
Kelly said yesterday this was a start of the debate. One day is quite long enough! Nearly 3 million council tenants across the UK and the 1.6 million households on council housing waiting lists will fight any attempt to reduce our security of tenure and we’re demanding government stop robbing council housing and agree the ‘Fourth Option’ to improve existing and build new council homes.
Professor Hills identified a number of problems with council housing in this report. Contributing to the debate at the LSE Alan Walter, chair of Defend Council Housing, suggested to him that tenant dissatisfaction on repairs could be largely solved if government fully funded council expenditure on management and maintenance (M&M) and dissatisfaction on overcrowding would be solved if more council homes were built. To loud applause Alan Walter invited John Hills to join with tenants and other supporters of council housing in urging the Secretary of State to fund the ‘Fourth Option’ as her own party conference has voted three years running.
Hills kept to his script replying it wasn’t up to him to comment on whether there should be a “first, second, third or fourth option” – that was up to Ministers. The alliance of council tenants, national trade unions, councillors and MPs across parties is waiting.
DCH also met with the Cave Review team at the Department for Communities (DCLG) on Monday to give oral evidence in support of our written submissions and to clarify the aims of the Cave Review into Housing Regulation. We will be discussing how to bring tenants together from around the country to make sure our voice is clearly heard.
See http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/ for background information on ‘Fourth Option’ for council housing, No votes against privatisation, press reports, Labour’s conference policy, ‘Ten Questions to Candidates’ in elections for Scottish and Welsh government, local elections and candidates for Labour Party leadership and deputy leadership elections (see back of Dear Gordon: Invest in decent, affordable, secure and accountable council housing pamphlet)
DCH offers John Hills 'simple abc' on Role of Social Housing
Tuesday afternoon (Feb 20 2007) Professor John Hills is due to report on the ‘Role of Social Housing’ for Secretary of State Ruth Kelly.
In the evening Defend Council Housing is launching a new pamphlet ‘Dear Gordon: Invest in decent, affordable, secure and accountable council housing’ at Parliament (6pm Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Westminster).
We’re hopeful that Hills will come to the right conclusions. There are high expectations amongst nearly 3 million council tenants and more than 1.6 million households on council housing waiting lists that this government will finally commit to investing in improving existing and building new council homes to address housing need.
To help Professor Hills here’s a simple ABC from DCH:
The private housing market is failing the majority of people. Decent, affordable secure and accountable council (public) housing makes sense for the following reasons:
DECENT
The standard of house design is getting worse as the private sector dominates, according to Council for the Built Environment. Most homes failing the government’s Decent Homes standard are in the private sector. Home owners may be ‘asset rich’ but many are too ‘cash poor’ to maintain their homes. Many owners (including the elderly and disabled) find the responsibility and organisational demands too much.
AFFORDABLE
Rents in the private sector are very much higher than council rents (landlords expect a profit from their investment). RSL rents and service charges are significantly higher too. Mortgages on the smallest property are beyond the reach of most.
SECURE
Private tenants on short-term tenancies are at the mercy of their landlords. Eviction rates amongst RSL tenants are higher too. Repossessions have risen by 65% last year and the courts are taking on more judges to deal with cases before them. The council ‘secure’ tenancy is the strongest protection available.
ACCOUNTABLE
Council tenants uniquely elect our landlords. Several local authorities have changed political control after council tenants exercising their power at the ballot box. Many council tenants are members of Tenants & Residents Associations which take up individual grievances and work closely with ward councillors and senior housing managers.
John Hills should recommend an increasing role for council housing and an end to government discrimination against it.
  • It is wrong that government has systematically been siphoning money out of council housing. Ring fencing all the income from tenants’ rents and receipts from ‘right to buy’ and other sales along with a ‘level playing field’ on debt write off and gap funding would fund the ‘Fourth Option’ of direct investment that tenants, the Labour Party conference and a broad alliance of councillors, MPs and trade unions demand.
  • The hype over home ownership is overplayed. Shelter’s research showed that 72% put ‘affordability’ and a safe neighbourhood above ‘ownership’ in their list of priorities.
  • Most so-called ‘affordable’ housing is not affordable for the vast majority. Public subsidies of £47,000 for key worker shared ownership schemes are expensive and many schemes are undersubscribed because the homes are still beyond reach.
  • Many prefer to rent - particularly if they can get first class housing that they can actually afford, is secure and has a landlord they can hold to account for management, maintenance and other responsibilities.
  • The government cannot claim to support ‘choice in public services’ and then deny council tenants the right to choose to remain with the council and have their homes and estates improved.
  • The government cannot create ‘sustainable communities’ if they force tenants to move on and out against their will by imposing a time limit or introducing a means test on their tenancy. It would turn our estates into massive hostels with a transient, not sustainable, community!
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