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DCH News Archive

Landlords must listen on fire safety
Following the terrible Grenfell fire, tenants everywhere are fearful.
Everyone living in high-r MORE >>
19 Jun 2017
Protest demands justice for Grenfell
Grenfell neighbourhood residents have called a protest 6pm Friday 16 June at Department for Commun MORE >>
15 Jun 2017
Protests follow terrible fire
Tenants will protest tomorrow, 15 June from 8am outside a Developers' fo MORE >>
14 Jun 2017
Save Central Hill estate
Save the Central Hill Estate (Lambeth SE19)protesting outside a Lambeth Council meeting 6.30pm Wed MORE >>
19 Apr 2017
Demand homes@Heygate
Flash protest at the former Heygate Estate- We demand homes@Heygate5:30pm- 6:30pm Wednesday 19th A MORE >>
19 Apr 2017
Haringey - Stop the £2 billion Gamble
There is a spreading revolt against Haringey Councils housing demolition and privatisation pl MORE >>
08 Mar 2017
London Mayor consults on regeneration
The Mayor of London has issued MORE >>
21 Feb 2017
I Daniel Blake with Ken Loach 1 March
Ken Loach presents I, Daniel Blake. Still a few tickets left, so join a great evening of cul MORE >>
21 Feb 2017
Occupation defies Council demolition plans
Community occupation on Aylesbury estateA community hall on the Aylesbury estate has been taken MORE >>
08 Jan 2017
Protest at parliament Wed 23rd demands action on homes
A protest outside Parliament this week will demand government action to control rents, build council MORE >>
21 Nov 2016
Labour backs council housing campaign
Labour conference adopted policy backing campaign against the Housing & Planning Act, to repeal the MORE >>
28 Sep 2016
Council house building essential to beat housing crisis, says LGA
Councillor Martin Tett, housing spokesman at the Conservative-led Local Government Association (LGA) MORE >>
29 Aug 2016
Housing Act lobby at DCLG HQ 10 August
Despite the Governmentchanges, civil servants are still drafting the regulations needed toimplem MORE >>
04 Aug 2016
Storm greets new Housing Minister
The national Axe the Housing Act campaign agreed to welcome the new housing minister with a twitter MORE >>
22 Jul 2016
National meeting Manchester 23 July
Tenants, trade unions, councillors and campaigners will meet in Manchester 23 July to plan the next MORE >>
13 Jul 2016
Fraud at transfer landlord angers tenants
NPT HOMES which controls around 9200 former council houses and flats in Neath and Port Talbot was ro MORE >>
03 Jun 2016
Fight on against Housing Bill
The Housing Bill passed in parliament on Thursday 12th May. It will not come into effect before Apr MORE >>
17 May 2016
Keep up opposition to Housing Bill
Protestors return to Parliament on Wed 11th May 12 noon, and call on MPs and Lords to keep up opposi MORE >>
10 May 2016
Protest lobby at Parliament 3 May
The much-criticised Housing Bill will be debated by MPs on 3rd May, after a series of amendments by MORE >>
23 Apr 2016
Housing Bill protest sleep out 15 April
Housing Bill protests will highlight how the Bill threatens more homeless people, while many are alr MORE >>
06 Apr 2016
Housing Bill - Timetable
The Housing and Planing Bill is being debated (with over 400 amendments) in Committee of the House MORE >>
20 Mar 2016
Southwark Tenants demand action against Housing Bill
Southwark Tenant Council and Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO) are demanding their Cou MORE >>
01 Mar 2016
Lords hear evidence against Housing Bill
Lords heard hard-hitting evidence against the Housing Bill, from tenants and trade union groups in a MORE >>
03 Feb 2016
Housing Bill campaign grows fast
A packed 100+ meeting of tenants, trade unions, councillors and traveller groups met 16 Jan to orga MORE >>
17 Jan 2016
Kill the Housing Bill - protest 5 January parliament
A campaign to Kill the Housing Bill - secure homes for all was launched today.
A packed MORE >>
12 Dec 2015
Cressingham tenants win halt to demolition
Tenants today won a legal halt to demolition. Lambeth council in south London was ordered to restar MORE >>
24 Nov 2015
United against Housing Bill
Opposition to the Housing Bill 2015 is growing fast.
Tenants across England and Wales together w MORE >>
21 Nov 2015
Campaign against NoHousing Bill launched
Tenants and trade unions were joined by councillors and MPs to protest at the MORE >>
07 Nov 2015
Tenants Federation on Housing Bill
Tower Hamlets Tenants Federation calls on our Mayor and Council, councillors, GLA representatives an MORE >>
27 Oct 2015
'No Housing' Bill protest 2 Nov at Parliament
The Housing Bill 2015 is a serious escalation of attacks on council housing and tenants' rights.
MORE >>
25 Oct 2015
Unanimous Support for Council Housing
Delegates at this year's Labour Party conference made housing their top priority MORE >>
01 Oct 2015
Council calls for action against Government on RTB2
Milton Keynes full Council passed a motion condemning extension of Right to Buy (RTB2) last night ( MORE >>
18 Sep 2015
Is your Council at MIPIM 2015?
On 21-23 October developers gathering in London are meeting investors, councils and politicians to t MORE >>
30 Aug 2015
Right to Buy2: Stop sell-offs
Councillors, trade unions and MPs including Jeremy Corbyn MP have signed up to resist selling of MORE >>
08 Aug 2015
Compensate Councils for rent cut
Government's decision to reduce Council rents by 1% a year for f years has a sting in the tail. Tena MORE >>
26 Jul 2015
Who do Council homes belong to?
The extension of Right to Buy (RtB) to Housing Associations, funded by selling off council homes, t MORE >>
02 Jun 2015
Tenants & Housing Summit 13 June
Tenants and housing campaigners meeting on 13 June to resist Government attacks on council housing, MORE >>
30 May 2015
Independent ballot against loss of council homes
Tenants voted overwhelmingly against redevelopment plans that mean the loss of 74 council homes, in MORE >>
17 May 2015
Tenants must 'access jobs' to afford homes after demolition
Haringey tenants are fighting demolition of council estates across Tottenham. Their Response to Har MORE >>
08 Apr 2015
London Assembly 'regrets' demolition loss of homes
Elected London Assembly members says Mayor should 'consider how the GLA can deliver a programme of MORE >>
20 Mar 2015
South East tour launches housing report
Meetings across the South East will propose ending building more 'social' homes for rent and ending MORE >>
19 Mar 2015
Stop demolition - refurbish Aylesbury
Marchers got a warm welcome yesterday, demanding Aylesbury estate homes are done up, not knocked dow MORE >>
15 Mar 2015
Protest as Councillors do deals in Cannes
Angry tenants and housing campaigners are protesting in Tottenham, Wed 11 March 5-7pm at 163 Park La MORE >>
10 Mar 2015
Hammersmith Council discusses Housing Privatisation
The Labour-led council in Hammersmith and Fulham, west London, is considering privatisation of all 1 MORE >>
17 Feb 2015
March for Homes - new housing movement
A new dynamic housing movement is bringing together council and private tenants, trade unions and c MORE >>
01 Feb 2015
Haringey Fights Demoltion
Haringey tenants are leading a fight against demolition of council homes and businesses.
On Sat MORE >>
03 Dec 2014
No to developers carving up our estates
Tenants, unions and housing campaigners will protest when London Mayor opens the MIPIM developers' MORE >>
14 Oct 2014
Southwark meet to stop demolition
Is Southwark council housing under threat? A public meeting will air the arguments, and explain why MORE >>
10 Oct 2014
Re-occupy Carpenters Estate
Empty council homes on the Carpenters Estate in east London have been occupied to demand council ten MORE >>
30 Sep 2014
End Bedroom Tax and Sanctions
National Day of Protest Against Sanctions, Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cuts
MORE >>
28 Aug 2014
One Housing attack Union
Major Housing Association One Housing Group, which took over many council estates, has sacked Unite MORE >>
16 Aug 2014
Tenants 'shareholder' rights removed after tranfer
Former Council tenants in east London are denied the promised right to be'shareholders' in the post- MORE >>
23 Jul 2014
Cowley votes No to transfer
Cowley estate 'shareholder' tenants have voted 100 to 6 to oppose a stock transfer.
The meeting MORE >>
21 Jul 2014
Myatt's Field PFI protest
Residents of Myatts Field North PFI 'regeneration' scheme in South London are protesting against i MORE >>
20 Jul 2014
National meeting 28 June
National DCH meeting 28 June 12-5pm at GMB office, 22 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD (beside Eust MORE >>
04 Jun 2014
Hands Off our Homes
Tenants and residents around Haringey are up in arms against the councils plans for the demolitio MORE >>
05 May 2014
DCH meeting @ Labour conference
DCH and anti bedroom tax campaigners will be lobbying Labour in Brighton next week to demand action. MORE >>
18 Sep 2013
TUC say build council housing and end Bedroom Tax
'Instead of subsidising slum landlords let's build the council housing we need. Instead of Bedroom T MORE >>
06 Sep 2013
Privatisation threat continues
Tenants still face the threat of privatisation through stock transfer in several areas.
If you MORE >>
06 Sep 2013
Eviction Halted in Manchester Protest
The first Bedroom Tax eviction in Manchester was halted after protestors lobbied the landlord and th MORE >>
21 Jun 2013
United to stop the benefits war
Anti-Bedroom Tax campaigners and tenant organisations are linking up with trade unions, MPs and camp MORE >>
09 May 2013
Benefit Justice Summit - organise to stop benefit cuts
A second Benefit Justice Summit on 11 May, 11am in Central Hall Westminster is an opportunity MORE >>
21 Apr 2013
Tenants demand Benefit Justice
Tenants organisations across Britain call on all Councils and other landlords not to evict people in MORE >>
21 Apr 2013
Councils agree no evictions due to Bedroom Tax
Two Councils have agreed to tenants' demands that no one should be evicted due to benefit cuts.
MORE >>
18 Mar 2013
Tenants defy Bedroom Tax at launch summit
Anti bedroom tax campaigners from around Britain joined with others fighting benefit cuts MORE >>
13 Mar 2013
Bedroom Tax Protests 16 March
Bedroom Tax protests are being organised all over Britain on 16 and 30 March. Check the list for < MORE >>
05 Mar 2013
Stop Benefit Cuts - Stop Bedroom Tax
Saturday 9th is the launch of Benefit Justice MORE >>
05 Mar 2013
Campaigning for Benefit Justice
Guardian, 1 MORE >>
13 Feb 2013
Campaign for Benefit Justice
Statement agreed by 30 tenant and other groups, including De MORE >>
30 Jan 2013
DCH on march 20 October
DCH brought together tenants and housing workers...to take part in the TUC demonstration 20 October MORE >>
20 Oct 2012
Leeds conference on Welfare Reform
Leeds Tenants Federation host a conference on 13 October, on impact of Benefit cuts for tenants MORE >>
28 Sep 2012
Frank Chance RIP
Frank Chance of Birmingham DCH has died. Frank's funeral service will be on Mon 21 May 1pm at MORE >>
15 May 2012
Ethelred fights transfer after NO vote
Ethelred tenants voted No to stock transfer but the Housing minister forces through MORE >>
03 Apr 2012
Flintshire votes NO by 88%
Tenants in Flintshire, North Wales have voted against privatisation by a resounding 88% MORE >>
20 Mar 2012
Meetings planned around Britain
After the successful launch of Housing Emergency's Time for an Alternative, tenants and trade unions MORE >>
27 Feb 2012
Council Housing is the Alternative
At a packed 130+ Housing Emergency meeting Ken Loach condemned benefit and rent policies. MORE >>
23 Feb 2012
Sheffield tenants vote to end ALMO
Sheffield tenants voted by 88.2% to scrap housing arms-length management. MORE >>
21 Feb 2012
Caerphilly tenants NO privatisation
Caerphilly Council tenants reject privatisation of council housing, in a 2:1 No vote.
Tenants v MORE >>
19 Feb 2012
Rent rise opposition spreads
Anger at huge council rent rises is growing. Tenants and councils are rejecting proposed 8 to ten pe MORE >>
13 Jan 2012
Warning on self-financing risks
A former Finance director is warning Councils of serious risks from self-financing.
Adrian Wait MORE >>
13 Jan 2012
Criminalising sub-letting is ridiculous
Many tenants have lodgers or sub-let and are entitled to. There is already a system to deal with MORE >>
11 Jan 2012
Tenants vote 72% NO to privatisation
Swindon council tenants have rejected transfer of their 10,500 homes to a Housing Association, with MORE >>
04 Jan 2012
BBC debunks Affordable Housing statistics
Affordable Housing statistics are exposed as ill defined, unaffordable and not even new MORE >>
10 Dec 2011
Stop the assault on Council Housing
DCH is opposed to the new Government housing strategy, an all-out assault on council housing. It p MORE >>
04 Dec 2011
Protest at parliament at new Localism Act
Protesters will challenge attacks on tenancies, rents and benefits MORE >>
15 Nov 2011
Labour conference rejects attacks on tenants
Labour's conference unanimously agreed: 'that defending the rights of social tenants and the deliv MORE >>
29 Sep 2011
Councils reject tenancy attacks
Growing numbers of Councils reject fixed-term tenancies. Nearly half of Councils are opposed MORE >>
06 May 2011
Glamorgan tenants vote no to privatisation
Tenants in Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, voted NO in a ballot to transfer their homes. MORE >>
09 Apr 2011
Tenants join march for public services
Tenants joined over half a million people on the magnificent 26th March demonstration in London. MORE >>
26 Mar 2011
Big Shortfall in Decent Homes Cash
Government have finally announced capital grants - with a shortfall of 1.1 billion MORE >>
17 Feb 2011
Hands off our homes, our benefits and our rights
Hundreds of tenants, councillors and other supporters lobbied their MPs and attended a mass rally MORE >>
15 Feb 2011
Tenants Organisations Reject Fixed-Term Tenancies
The consultation on the introduction of fixed-term tenancies closed today. MORE >>
17 Jan 2011
Cardboard City protest at Downing St
MPs joined angry tenants, unions, disabled campaigners in a 150-strong protest to the Prime Minister MORE >>
15 Dec 2010
Local opposition to reform grows
DCH is calling on all local authorities to commit to refusing to implement these draconian reforms MORE >>
07 Dec 2010
Short-term tenancies plan provokes outrage
A government consultation to end our security of tenure, just launched, has already provoked outrage MORE >>
22 Nov 2010
Rents to Rise above Inflation
They accuse us of being scroungers and layabouts - but then treat us as a cash cow MORE >>
13 Nov 2010
Decent Homes Cash for NO votes
The government has announced money towards decent homes whether tenants voted YES or NO MORE >>
11 Nov 2010
Protest at housing benefit debate
A protest called to coincide with the MPs debate on housing benefit saw an impressive turnout MORE >>
09 Nov 2010
Cuts will have devastating impact
Cuts announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review are an assault on tenants' rights MORE >>
20 Oct 2010
Hands off our homes and our tenancies
A meeting on 18th October endorsed a London campaign plan MORE >>
19 Oct 2010
Cameron launches attack on security of tenure
The Prime Minister announced publicly that he wants to push council tenants out of our homes MORE >>
06 Aug 2010
Benefit Cuts threaten Council Tenants
Proposed punitive cuts in housing benefit will lead to tenants evicted, more homelessness MORE >>
01 Aug 2010
Council housing finance consultation
See our response to the consultation which closed on 7th July. MORE >>
07 Jul 2010
Gap widens between council and RSL rents
Despite claims pro-transfer councils make, the gap between council and RSL rents is getting wider MORE >>
15 Jan 2010
Moratorium On Transfer
Housing Minister John Healey has announced a partial moratorium on stock transfer in England. MORE >>
16 Dec 2009
New campaign newspaper available
Eight pages make the case against transfer and for direct investment MORE >>
09 Dec 2009
Minister John Healey Launches Investigation
into why councils are failing to reach Decent Homes. MORE >>
08 Dec 2009
Housing Finance Review For Wales
As we predicted, Wales is following behind England in reviewing its system of housing finance MORE >>
18 Nov 2009
Find out your council's response to finance reform
to government proposals to reform council housing finance on our new webpage: most are critical. MORE >>
31 Oct 2009
Councils, MPs and Tenants say funding offer not adequate
As the consultation closed, Ministers are under growing pressure to improve the settlement MORE >>
28 Oct 2009
MPs report now available
The full report of the House of Commons Council Housing Group' inquiry is now available. MORE >>
27 Aug 2009
Reform of Council Housing Finance: Proposals Fall Short
Despite the promises in the ministerial statement, proposals on finance reform fall short. MORE >>
22 Jul 2009
Select committee announce enquiry
We welcome the decision by the select committee of MPs MORE >>
22 Jul 2009
More funding for new council housing
Government announced on 28th June additional funding for 3,000 new council homes MORE >>
28 Jun 2009
South Cambridgeshire tenants vote NO
Tenants in South Cambridgeshire have become the latest to reject transfer in a massive 72 percent NO MORE >>
06 Jun 2009
Budget: new money for council house building
...as a new paper from the Council Housing Group of MPs demands government action MORE >>
10 May 2009
Beckett cuts planned council rent increases in half
Margaret Beckett finally conceded that government would reduce the proposed rent increase MORE >>
06 Mar 2009
200 make case for council housing at inquiry
MPs heard evidence from 27 delegations; dozens of local authorities, tenant and union organisations MORE >>
25 Feb 2009
New campaign newspaper makes the case
Eight pages make the case for direct investment and calls on government to ring-fence the national Housing Revenue Account and fully fund allowances to councils at 'level of need'.
Two ALMOs in Oldham and Warrington proposing to privatise their homes underlines the importance of re-uniting the "council housing family" across authorities directly managing their homes and those with ALMOs to secure direct investment for all council housing.
Distribute to tenants, trade unionists and councillors (£20 per 100 / £120 per 1000 copies).

DCH conference broad and representative
Delegates attending the DCH National Conference 2008 (photo © Andrew Wiard www.reportphotos.co.uk) 196 council tenants, councillors and trade union delegates from 51 areas were joined by housing professionals, academics and MPs at the DCH national conference on 25 November 2008, at the University of London Union.
Read more>> - including conference papers and slides (audio tape and report soon).

'Robbery' to increase in draft subsidy determination
The robbery from tenants rents is set to increase next April by £248 million to £1.83 billion.
The 'Draft Subsidy Determination' issued by government shows that the average robbery from tenants increases from £926 to £995 whilst rents go up a massive £6.2% from April 2009.
See what it means for your authority and get your organisation to send a formal protest letter (consultation deadline 9 Dec). Read more>>.

Angry response to latest attack on 'secure' tenancies
There's been an angry response to the latest attack on 'secure' tenancies from the Chartered Institute of Housing. Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett, has now told Parliament "I am not at all sympathetic to the notion that council housing residents should somehow lose their security of tenure."
Get your organisation to condemn the CIH proposals. Read more>>>.

Labour's conference leaves unfinished business
The 'Fourth Option' was debated at Labour's conference (Sept 23) for the fifth year running. The report - underlining a commitment to finding a solution on 'Decent Homes', the HRA review and building new council housing - was accepted despite widespread criticism that it still left key issues unresolved (see DCH Bottom line for council housing briefing and second leaflet).
Housing Minister Caroline Flint told delegates "I can confirm today, we will provide the opportunity for local authorities to access the grants necessary to build again" and promised more talks with authorities unable to meet the government's Decent Homes target. Read more>>

Minister makes concessions at Labour's Policy Forum
Dozens of Constituency Labour Parties, as well as major unions, submitted amendments to Labour's National Policy Forum (July 25/26) supporting the campaign's demands. In negotations the Minister made a significant concession. ('Major breakthrough' on fourth option').
Local authorities will now be allowed to bid directly for ‘Social Housing Grant’ to build ‘council housing’ (directly managed with ‘secure’ council tenancies). A new generation of first class council housing can now be built - and without the risks involved with councils entering into public/private partnerships with Local Housing Companies and other Special Purpose Vehicles.
On ‘Decent Homes’ – particularly important for tenants in authorities being bullied to accept privatisation and those who have already rejected privatisation options but being denied improvements – there was a clear commitment to meet the standard but it was left ambiguous how this might be achieved. Commitment to additional resources for authorities facing a funding gap is now essential.
Alongside the HRA Review (see below) these developoments reinforce the case for a complete moratorium on stock options and further privatisation until the new finance regime is agreed.
Read final wording of amendment and separate letter of clarification.

Tenants agree submission to government review
Tenants met with MPs at the House of Commons on 14 July to discuss our first submission to the government's 'Review of Council Housing Finance'.
Get your organisation to support this paper or submit your own (hrareview@communities.gsi.gov.uk).
The meeting welcomed the LGA endorsing our key demands (see right), and agreed to hold a national conference and a lobby of Parliament.
Join DCH to complain at government's failure to involve tenants in the review (see Tenant voice must be heard, Tenants must not be sidelined, Getting involved in the HRA review, Channels are open for tenants to use ). Ask your council to distribute the DCH submission and 'Dear Gordon 2' pamphlet to tenants reps to ensure they are informed.
Background: In December 2007 Housing Minister Yvette Cooper announced a review (now called 'Review of Council Housing Finance') with the commitment "to ensure that we have a sustainable, long term system for financing council housing" and "consider evidence about the need to spend on management, maintenance and repairs".
Challenge any councils doing 'stock option' or stock transfer consultations and demand a moratorium until the review reports. Insist councils model the Minister's commitment to show tenants the alternative to privatisation. See impact of fully funding allowances to make council housing sustainable Read more>>

Pamphlet punches arguments
'Dear Gordon 2' argues Gordon Brown can't keep his promise of 3 million new homes unless he drops the dogma and invests in council housing. The private sector is in crisis and the Local Government Association predicts council housing waiting lists will rise to 2 million households (5 million people) by 2010.
Updating 'Dear Gordon' (2007) the pamphlet reminds the Prime Minister that tenants, trade unions, councillors and MPs - plus three consecutive Labour Party conferences - demand the 'Fourth Option' of direct investment in council housing. It includes amendments to the Labour Party draft policy document and urges Labour Party members and affiliated unions to submit them.
13th May 2008
Hands up for council housing
Hands up for council housing Organise a local protest to demand government fund improvements to all existing council housing, start building first class council homes to address housing need and commit to making council housing sustainble by stopping the robbery!
Invite tenants, trade unionists, councillors and people on the housing waiting list. Contact DCH for material and 'Fourth Option' hands.
Ask Labour Party members and affiliated unions to submit amendments from DCH to the Labour Party 'Partnership in Power' policy consultation.

200 attend inquiry at Parliament to back amendments
Lobbying MPs on January 22 at Parliament (photo: Andrew Wiard www.reportphotos.co.uk DCH new newspaper Tenants, trade unionists, councillors and council officers came to Parliament on January 22 and more than 20 delegations gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Council Housing group to support amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Bill. Read more>>

Talks - but no concrete progress
'Fourth Option': 5 clear demand On Jan 16 Austin Mitchell and Alan Walter met Iain Wright, the junior Housing Minister overseeing the Bill. Discussions covered the campaign's main concerns.
MPs Austin Mitchell, Brian Iddon, Paul Holmes and David Howarth with Alan Walter and Eileen Short from DCH previously met Housing Minister Yvette Cooper (Oct 18) and discussed the Housing Green Paper, building new council homes, meeting Decent Homes and the government's response to Hills and Cave.

'Fourth Option' back again at Labour's conference
Labour Conference 2007 debates 'Fourth Option' for fourth year (photo: © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk) 17 Constituency Parties submitted motions supporting the 'Fourth Option' that finally got onto the agenda.
Council housing dominated the housing debate forcing movement in the right direction from Housing Minister Yvette Cooper - but not yet nearly enough (DCH responds to Labour's housing debate). Three consecutive conferences have backed the 'Fourth Option' demands. There's plenty of 'warm words' but we're still waiting for specific commitments. As Austin Mitchell MP put it "We haven't fought this long and hard and come this far to be fobbed off now." Read more>>

2007 TUC gives unanimous support for 'Fourth Option'
TUC 2007 - delegates back 'Fourth Option' (photo: Simon Clark eyebox.net) TUC delegates unanimously backed the 'Fourth Option' in a high profile debate on the first morning. Britain's two biggest unions (UNITE and UNISON) both submitted motions moved by their respective general secretaries.
UNISON general secretary, Dave Prentis argued "What is so wrong with councils renewing their housing stock... respecting tenants' choice?" and said earlier "Investment to improve existing council housing and estates and to start building new first class council housing, the clarion call of the "Fourth option" backed by Labour conference but still unimplemented, is now mission critical."
UNITE's Derek Simpson told Congress "The housing crisis is a problem of affordability and supply. Unless we solve that problem it will be a major downer for the labour movement...I'm pleased that council housing is back as a term in the vocabulary of Labour - it hasn't been for too long. That is down to your efforts."

DCH responds to Housing Green Paper
DCH Interim Response to Green Paper 2007 DCH has produced an 'Interim Response' and additional response on Local Housing Companies (15 Oct) to the government's Housing Green Paper welcoming this opportunity to press the case for council housing (see covering letter, Compass article and Press Archive).
Get your organisation to formally respond to the DCLG consultation endorsing DCH's five demands.
As Jack Dromey said at the DCH conference "the devil will be in the detail". The Green Paper directly addresses the key changes to housing finance we've all been demanding. But the solutions steer local authorities into gifting/selling council land to public/private partnerships. The ratio of new council homes to private homes is unclear and whether they will be 'secure' tenancies charging lower council rents and directly managed by an accountable elected council.

'Fourth Option' prominent at union conferences (2007)
Delegates supporting Fourth Option at UNISON conference (photo Marcus Rose, Insight Visual) Gordon Brown told the UNITE (Amicus) conference "I cannot promise to implement the fourth option on council housing today [a demand from the Defend Council Housing group for the last six years] but what I will tell you is that councils will be allowed to build homes again." (Guardian Unlimited, 18 June) "Mr Brown has an 'open mind' about the fourth option for council housing, as an alternative to transfer, arm's-length management and the private finance initiative, his spokesperson said this week."
Gordon Brown also told the GMB conference 'we will give help to councils by new means through which they can build houses as well'. And all six Labour Party Deputy Leadership candidates supported the 'Fourth Option' to enable councils to improve homes direct as an alternative to transfer, PFI and ALMOs (Give ’em the homes millions, says Brown’s deputy (whoever that turns out to be).
Speaking at a DCH fringe meeting Nick Brown MP, a close ally of the next Prime Minister, told delegates 'Defend Council Housing has been one of the most persistent and courageous Labour movement campaigns that are currently underway and I think their time has come.'

Tenants tell councillors 'Stand Up For Council Housing'
Camden tenants reps voted overwhelmingly against the council's latest proposals for partial transfers, demolition and sale of homes and land. A packed meeting demanded that the council actively campaign by sponsoring a London wide conference to lobby for the 'Fourth Option' and a cross party delegation with tenants reps to meet Ministers.

John Hills reports on 'Role of Social Housing'
New DCH pamphlet 'Dear Gordon, Invest in decent, affordable, secure and accountable council housing' Hills launched his Ends & Means report with Ruth Kelly at the LSE on Feb 20. Hills said people would be disappointed if they expected him to attack a secure tenancy (although the report is more ambiguous). He applauded the role of public housing in providing decent, affordable and secure housing in the past and recognised the need for the future. He diplomatically said it wasn't up to him to decide on 'first, second, third or fourth options'.
Ruth Kelly seized the opportunity to raise scrapping council secure life-long tenancies, introducing means testing and bulldozing council blocks to build private housing to create more mixed communities.
These proposals have met with outrage - read more >>

Privatisation hits the buffers
123 councils have already decided to keep their homes (Oct 2006). Make sure there's an effective campaign in all 55 areas due to ballot on stock transfer and those planning ALMOs. Bring together tenants, trade unions, councillors and MPs and contact DCH for help producing material to get the arguments out on local estates (also stock options survey).
The big votes by tenants in many authorities shows the strong support for council housing. Tenants want improvements but we aren't prepared to trade secure tenancies and lower rents for new kitchens and bathrooms. Nor do we want to take the risk of two-stage privatisation by ALMO.
Join tenants in Waveney, Cannock Chase, Selby, Mid Devon, Sedgefield, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Kingston, Wrexham, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dudley, Camden, Southwark and elsewhere who have voted NO to privatisation!
Let us know what's happening in your area.

1300+ attend rally at Parliament and lobby MPs
Tenants, trade unionists and councillors came to London to support the campaign in Feb 2006 More than 1300 tenants, trade unionists and councillors, from over 90 areas across the UK, took part in the Lobby of Parliament and rally on Feb 8 2006 (web report and bulletin).
Delegations heard from 32 speakers, exchanged experience and lobbied their MPs.
Councils can no longer tell tenants that government policy is set in stone.

DCH makes submission to review
Tenants met with MPs at the House of Commons to discuss a submission to the government's 'Review of Council Housing Finance'.
Get your organisation to support this paper or submit your own. Complain about government's failure to involve tenants in the review (see Tenant voice must be heard, Tenants must not be sidelined, Getting involved in the HRA review, Channels are open for tenants to use ). Ask your council to distribute the DCH submission and 'Dear Gordon 2' pamphlet to tenants reps to ensure they are informed.
Background: In December 2007 Housing Minister Yvette Cooper announced a review (now called 'Review of Council Housing Finance') with the commitment "to ensure that we have a sustainable, long term system for financing council housing" and "consider evidence about the need to spend on management, maintenance and repairs".
Challenge any councils doing 'stock option' or stock transfer consultations and demand a moratorium until the review reports. Insist councils model the Minister's commitment to show tenants the alternative to privatisation. See impact of fully funding allowances to make council housing sustainable Read more>>
26th Jul 2008

LGA, CIH, CIPFA and others now say "Spend council rent on building and improving council housing"
Key organisations launched a My rent went to Whitehall position paper at the LGA conference on July 2 which endorses the key housing finance demands DCH and others have been making.
DCH is concerned that breaking up the national HRA system leaves tenants exposed to changes to interest rate, inflation and other risks and could make it easier to privatise homes. The campaign believe that requiring government to fully fund allowances to local authorities provides a more certain and less risky solution (Read policy statement).
We welcome a clear commitment to ring fence resources for council housing and suggest that the mechanism for distributing these resources is looked at as a seperate issue. Read more>>

"Brown suffers big backbench revolt over council house repairs"
MPs briefing on amendments to Housing Bill (The Guardian, 1st April 2008) 'Gordon Brown suffered one of the biggest backbench revolts since becoming prime minister last night as 28 Labour rebels backed an amendment to a housing bill calling for more resources for council house building and repair...'.
Read the transcript of the debate in Parliament; see how MPs voted on amendments NC1 (fair and balanced ballots) and NC8 (HRA funding). See Third Reading Briefing, campaign report from the Council Housing group of MPs and More >>

'Opt out' pilot identifies councils face 40% funding shortfall
A new government report looking at councils opting out of the national Housing Revenue Account (HRA) has identified that "anticipated levels of future subsidy… are not sufficient to maintain a sustainable level of housing services within the HRA subsidy system." (Self-financing of council housing services: Summary of findings of a modelling exercise, CLG, March 2008) "We are talking about the major repairs allowance across the country being 40 per cent short of what most people would estimate is a minimum investment need over 30 years" (Steve Partridge, Housing Quality Network consultant supporting the review group, Inside Housing 14 March 2008).
Read DCH Briefing on CLG report conclusions.

Flint scapegoats council tenants...
New Housing Minister Caroline Flint made her first headline proposing council tenants apply for jobs as a condition of tenancy. Part of the agenda is to stigmatise council housing so as to continue their drive to privatisation and counter growing demands for government to modernise existing estates and start building a new generation of council housing (Council tenants condemn Flint's statement). Search Press Archive) on 'Means Tetsing'.

A clear manifesto commitment
Labour's election manifesto (May 2005) made a clear pledge - let's make sure they keep it:
"By 2010 we will ensure that all social tenants benefit from a decent, warm home with modern facilities."
The pledge is simple. It doesn't say that the commitment is dependent on tenants voting a certain way. Reject stock transfer, PFI or ALMOs and join the campaign for the 'fourth option'. Get tenants, councillors, unions and MPs in your area to demand direct invstment in council housing with no strings attached Labour manifesto (page 80). Download DCH poster

"The Case for council housing in 21st Century Britain" pamphlet
New DCH pamphlet - The Case for council housing in 21st Century Britain DCH has produced a 98 page pamphlet bringing together 31 articles from leading tenant activists, MPs, trade unionists, councillors and academics.
Get your organisation to bulk order (@£2.50 each) printed copies to distribute to tenants reps, councillors and trade unionists in your area.
Download Acrobat file or Word file

Newspapers for Wales and Scotland Scottish DCH Newspaper August 2006
Wales DCH Newspaper August 2006 DCH has produced 100,000 copies of a Welsh newspaper sponsored by the Wales TUC, UNISON, T&G and GMB and a Scottish newspaper to support local campaigns against transfer.

MPs make case for 'Fourth Option'
The House of Commons Council Housing group has produced a 40 page report documenting the evidence they gathered from their inquiry into support for the 'fourth option'.
Help make sure it is widely read by tenants, councillors and trade unionists in your area.
For more information see website.
summary
full report

Affiliate & Donate
Unlike local authorities we can't dip into the Housing Revenue Account and use tenants rents to campaign. DCH relies on affiliation fees, donations and sale of publications to get the arguments across. Raise support in your tenants association, union branch, Trades Council and political party. Download details.



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