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Defending security of tenure and opposing means-testing

Key Resources
04/04/12

24/10/11

19/05/11

17/05/11

27/04/11

01/10/10

01/09/10

30/11/08

20/02/07

Other useful reports
Shelter
31/07/12

Communities and Local Government (CLG)
09/06/11

Shelter/Heriot Watt University
10/05/11

CLG
28/02/11

Hansard
17/01/11

Shelter
03/01/11

Parliament
13/12/10

CLG
22/11/10

CLG
22/11/10

CIH
16/08/10

Tenant Services Authority
09/06/09

Fabian Society
01/05/09

Inside Housing
24/04/09

Localis
21/04/09

Housing Corporation
25/11/08

CIG
21/10/08

CIH
07/10/08

DWP
26/08/08

JRF
02/07/08

JRF
02/07/08

Citizens Advice Bureau
21/05/08

DWP
01/05/08

Fabian Society Lecture
05/02/08

C:G
05/02/08

Shelter
06/07/07

Case, LSE
20/02/07

Fabian Society Lecture
14/02/07

Smith Institute
20/07/06

Tower Hamlets Law Centre
01/06/05

L&T Rev
01/01/00

Attacks on the unique 'secure' tenancies that council tenants won in 1979 after a determined campaign are never far away. Those who are opposed in principle to high quality public services available to all and who want everyone forced into the hands of the private market are determined to weaken the position of council tenants, stigmatising council housing as 'housing of last resort', and trying to take away our 'secure' tenancies or impose means testing or time limits.
Latest attack on council housing principles
The new government has launched a savage attack on tenants' rights, threatening in the Localism Bill to time-limit secure tenancies to just two years. This makes a lie of their pre-election promises to respect tenants’ rights. It follows savage cuts to Housing Benefit announced in the June budget, and threats to slash spending on public services.
For more information see the DCH Sep 2010 briefing on security of tenure and briefing on HB cuts.
We can stop these attacks. Use the DCH open statement to collect signatures against the cuts and attacks, and go to the Housing Emergency page >> for more up-to-date information.
For the history of these attacks on tenants’ rights, see below.
A short history of attacks we have seen off
In July 2006 the Smith Institute published a pamphlet Rethinking Social Housing which argued all social housing encouraged dependancy and so tenants should be forced into the private market by introducing means testing and time limits on secure tenancies.
On 13 Feb 2007 Secretary of State Ruth Kelly followed up with a Fabian 'The Future of Housing Policy' Lecture talking about 'helping' tenants into home ownership by giving us "10% stakes". (Defend Council Housing slams Ruth Kelly's speech). The speech was deliberately timed a week before Professor John Hills was due to publish the results of his 'Review of Social Housing'.
On 20 February 2007 Professor John Hills published his report on the ‘Role of Social Housing’. To his credit he refused to recommend an end to 'secure' tenancies. See DCH's response to the Hills report.
In November 2007 Ministers were forced to retract a proposed means-testing clause in the Housing and Regeneration Bill.
In February 2008, Housing Minister Caroline Flint gave a Fabian Lecture calling for tenants to sign up to 'commitment contracts' ( Council tenants condemn Flint's statement).
The next attack on 'secure' tenancies came from the Chartered Institute of Housing. Their Rethinking housing report (Oct 2008) argued that when tenants' circumstances improve they should either move into the private sector (private renting or home ownership) or pay market rents. See key extract. The CIH was so shocked that tenants and others objected that they issued an immediate 'open letter'. See DCH initial response, follow up and Beckett dismisses tenancy for life speculation.
A report by the New Local Government Network recommended market rents, the end of secure tenancies, forcing elderly tenants to leave their family homes once their children grow up, and intrusive ‘advice sessions’ for tenants designed to bully them into the private sector. (Tenant Empowerment: What the new regulatory regime must deliver, Oct 2008).
In response to all this, Government said it was planning a new Housing Reform Green Paper for December 2008 - but later denied there were any such plans.
In December 2008 Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice argued for end of any obligation to provide council housing, to encourage private landlordism. This was followed by a report 'Principles for Social Housing Reform', from Localis, coauthored by Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, recommending councils should “exploit [the] huge reserve of capital value” in their houses and the land by selling it off and charging “market terms”.
The Tenant Services Authority published draft standards trying to water down security of tenure in June 2009; after protests it backed off these threats – saying that landlords “must offer and issue the most secure form of tenure” and deleting the offending line (Nov 2009).
Read the evidence
Most of these attacks are based on false claims about council housing which don't stand up to scrutiny. For more detailed arguments and evidence, download DCH paper.
Press Articles
Guardian
22/05/14

Inside Housing
30/04/14

24dash.com
22/04/14

24dash.com
18/03/14

Guardian
10/03/14

Wordpress
25/09/13

Telegraph
25/08/13

Inside Housing
29/07/13

24dash.com
13/07/13

Guardian
04/07/13

Morning Star
02/07/13

24dash.com
25/04/13

Inside Housing
02/04/13

24dash.com
18/03/13

24dash.com
15/01/13

Inside Housing
12/01/13

Inside Housing
11/01/13

24dash.com
05/12/12

Inside Housing
05/11/12

Inside Housing
15/10/12

Inside Housing
08/10/12

24dash.com
02/10/12

Wordpress
29/09/12

Wordpress
24/09/12

Yorkshire Evening Post
07/09/12

Guardian
21/08/12

24dash.com
21/08/12

Morning Star
21/08/12

Inside Housing
01/08/12

24dash.com
31/07/12

Inside Housing
31/07/12

Wordpress
30/07/12

Inside Housing
12/07/12

Wordpress
10/07/12

New Statesman
25/06/12

Inside Housing
25/06/12

Wordpress
20/06/12

Inside Housing
19/06/12

Guardian
18/06/12

Inside Housing
13/06/12

Morning Star
13/06/12

24dash.com
11/06/12

Inside Housing
21/05/12

Wordpress
13/05/12

Fitzrovia
13/05/12

Guardian
24/04/12

Guardian
19/04/12

Inside Housing
11/04/12

10/04/12

24dash.com
20/03/12

Inside Housing
16/03/12

24dash.com
15/03/12

Observer
12/03/12

Inside Housing
08/03/12

Observer
19/02/12

24dash.com
14/02/12

24dash.com
08/02/12

Inside Housing
02/02/12

24dash.com
02/02/12

24dash.com
20/01/12

Guardian
01/01/12

Guardian
01/01/12

24dash.com
23/12/11

Inside Housing
15/12/11

24dash.com
15/12/11

24dash.com
12/12/11

24dash.com
09/12/11

Inside Housing
28/11/11

Guardian
22/11/11

Guardian on line
14/11/11

Inside Housing website
02/11/11

24dash.com
29/10/11

24dash.com
25/10/11

Inside Housing
06/10/11

Guardian
04/10/11

Inside Housing
30/09/11

Inside Housing
30/09/11

Evening Standard
28/09/11

Guardian
28/09/11

Inside Housing
23/09/11

Inside Housing
07/09/11

BBC News London
07/09/11

Socialist Worker
07/09/11

Southwark News
02/09/11

Inside Housing
24/08/11

Observer
15/08/11

Public Finance
15/08/11

Inside Housing
11/08/11

BBC News
05/08/11

24dash.com
04/08/11

24dash.com
01/08/11

BBC News
29/07/11

Inside Housing
28/07/11

Huffington Post
23/07/11

Morning Star
16/07/11

Inside Housing
13/07/11

Inside Housing
07/07/11

Inside Housing
07/07/11

BBC News
04/07/11

Inside Housing
24/06/11

Inside Housing
24/06/11

Inside Housing
23/06/11

Inside Housing
21/06/11

Inside Housing
17/06/11

Inside Housing
14/06/11

Inside Housing
13/06/11

Inside Housing
13/06/11

Inside Housing
10/06/11

Inside Housing
09/06/11

Inside Housing
09/06/11

Inside Housing
08/06/11

Inside Housing
07/06/11

Inside Housing
06/06/11

Inside Housing
06/06/11

Inside Housing
06/06/11

Inside Housing
03/06/11

Inside Housing
03/06/11

Inside Housing
20/05/11

Inside Housing
18/05/11

Inside Housing
18/05/11

Inside Housing
18/05/11

Guardian
18/05/11

Inside Housing
17/05/11

Inside Housing
17/05/11

Inside Housing
16/05/11

Inside Housing
12/05/11

Inside Housing
12/05/11

Inside Housing
10/05/11

Inside Housing
10/05/11

24Dash.Com
09/05/11

Inside Housing
06/05/11

Inside Housing
06/05/11

24dash.om
05/05/11

Inside Housing
03/05/11

Inside Housing
03/05/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
28/04/11

Inside Housing
27/04/11

Inside Housing
21/04/11

Inside Housing
20/04/11

Inside Housing
15/04/11

Guardian: Dave Hill's London Blog
13/04/11

Inside Housing
11/04/11

Inside Housing
05/04/11

Inside Housing
05/04/11

Inside Housing
01/04/11

Inside Housing
30/03/11

Inside Housing
29/03/11

Inside Housing
28/03/11

Inside Housing
25/03/11

Inside Housing
18/03/11

Inside Housing
18/03/11

Inside Housing
18/03/11

Inside Housing
15/03/11

Inside Housing
11/03/11

Inside Housing
11/03/11

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
09/03/11

Inside Housing
08/03/11

Inside Housing
08/03/11

Inside Housing
07/03/11

Inside Housing
25/02/11

Inside Housing
21/02/11

Inside Housing
18/02/11

Inside Housing
18/02/11

Inside Housing
18/02/11

Inside Housing
18/02/11

Inside Housing
17/02/11

Inside Housing
17/02/11

Inside Housing
16/02/11

Inside Housing
15/02/11

Inside Housing
14/02/11

Inside Housing
14/02/11

Inside Housing
11/02/11

Inside Housing
05/02/11

Inside Housing
04/02/11

Inside Housing
04/02/11

Inside Housing
02/02/11

Inside Housing
28/01/11

Inside Housing
28/01/11

Inside Housing
28/01/11

Inside Housing
28/01/11

Inside Housing
27/01/11

Inside Housing
26/01/11

Guardian
25/01/11

Inside Housing
21/01/11

Inside Housing
21/01/11

Inside Housing
18/01/11

Inside Housing
17/01/11

Daily Telegraph
11/01/11

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
01/12/10

The Guardian
28/11/10

Inside Housing
23/11/10

CLG
22/11/10

Inside Housing
21/11/10

The Guardian
21/11/10

Inside Housing
19/11/10

The Mirror
13/11/10

The Evening Standard
09/11/10

Observer
31/10/10

Guardian
30/10/10

Inside Housing
29/10/10

Inside Housing
29/10/10

Inside Housing
28/10/10

Socialist Worker
23/10/10

Inside Housing
22/10/10

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 Guardian
18/10/10

The Telegraph
18/10/10

Channel 4 News
17/10/10

Morning Star
11/10/10

Inside Housing
05/10/10

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
24/09/10

Inside Housing
17/09/10

Inside Housing
06/09/10

Inside Housing
03/09/10

Inside Housing
27/08/10

Inside Housing
20/08/10

The Observer
15/08/10

Observer
15/08/10

Socialist Worker
14/08/10

Inside Housing
13/08/10

Inside Housing
13/08/10

Inside Housing
13/08/10

Guardian
12/08/10

Guardian
12/08/10

Guardian
12/08/10

Telegraph
07/08/10

Inside Housing
06/08/10

Inside Housing
05/08/10

Guardian
05/08/10

Telegraph
04/08/10

Inside Housing
03/08/10

BBC
03/08/10

The Guardian
03/08/10

Inside Housing
23/07/10

Inside Housing
23/07/10

The Guardian
23/07/10

Inside Housing
23/07/10

Inside Housing
23/07/10

The Guardian
23/07/10

Inside Housing
22/07/10

London Evening Standard
21/07/10

London Evening Standard
19/07/10

Inside Housing
16/07/10

Inside Housing
15/07/10

Inside Housing
12/07/10

Inside Housing
09/07/10

Guardian
09/07/10

Inside Housing
09/07/10

Leeds Tenants Federation
09/07/10

Inside Housing
09/07/10

Inside Housing
02/07/10

Telegraph
28/06/10

Inside Housing
25/06/10

London Evening Standard
23/06/10

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
05/03/10

Inside Housing
26/02/10

Inside Housing
22/01/10

Inside Housing
15/01/10

Inside Housing
15/01/10

Inside Housing
08/01/10

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

Inside Housing
07/09/09

Harlow Herald
07/09/09

Daily Mirror
07/09/09

The Observer
06/09/09

Inside Housing
20/08/09

Inside Housing
07/08/09

Inside Housing
07/08/09

Inside Housing
17/07/09

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

Inside Housing
08/05/09

Daily Mirror
05/05/09

Daily Mirror
25/04/09

Observer
19/04/09

Housing Excellence
27/03/09

24dash
06/03/09

Inside Housing
06/03/09

Inside Housing
06/03/09

24dash
06/03/09

Independent
05/03/09

24dash
03/03/09

Inside Housing
03/03/09

BBC Radio 4
26/02/09

Inside Housing
20/02/09

Inside Housing
20/02/09

Nationwide
03/02/09

Times
03/02/09

Public Finance
30/01/09

Inside Housing
30/01/09

Inside Housing
30/01/09

Inside Housing
30/01/09

Guardian
29/01/09

Inside Housing
23/01/09

Shelter
22/01/09

Inside Housing
16/01/09

Inside Housing
16/01/09

Inside Housing
09/01/09

Guardian
30/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Inside Housing
12/12/08

Daily Mirror
03/12/08

Daily Mirror
03/12/08

Guardian
02/12/08

Inside Housing
26/11/08

Inside Housing
21/11/08

Times
21/11/08

Times
14/11/08

Inside Housing
14/11/08

Times
14/11/08

Inside Housing
14/11/08

Public Finance
14/11/08

Inside Housing
14/11/08

Inside Housing
12/11/08

Sheffield Star
12/11/08

Sheffield Star
12/11/08

Times
11/11/08

Sheffield Star
11/11/08

Sheffield Star
11/11/08

Inside Housing
10/11/08

BBC
10/11/08

Guardian
10/11/08

Times
10/11/08

Times
10/11/08

JRF
07/11/08

JRF
07/11/08

Inside Housing
07/11/08

Inside Housing
07/11/08

Public Finance
07/11/08

Guardian
06/11/08

Inside Housing
31/10/08

Inside Housing
31/10/08

Guardian
29/10/08

Inside Housing
28/10/08

Inside Housing
28/10/08

Inside Housing
22/10/08

Sunday Times
17/10/08

Inside Housing
17/10/08

Inside Housing
17/10/08

Inside Housing
13/10/08

Inside Housing
08/10/08

Observer
05/10/08

Inside Housing
19/09/08

Inside Housing
17/09/08

Observer
07/09/08

Guardian
05/09/08

Times
29/08/08

Guardian
29/08/08

Observer
17/08/08

Times
16/08/08

Inside Housing
15/08/08

Inside Housing
15/08/08

Inside Housing
08/08/08

Public Finance
01/08/08

Observer
27/07/08

Times
27/07/08

Inside Housing
25/07/08

Inside Housing
22/07/08

Observer
13/07/08

Times
10/07/08

Guardian
09/07/08

Guardian
05/07/08

TUC
01/07/08

LGA Firstonline
18/06/08

LGA
17/06/08

Inside Housing
13/06/08

Inside Housing
13/06/08

BBC
09/06/08

Guardian
07/06/08

BBC
07/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Inside Housing
06/06/08

Compass
04/06/08

Inside Housing
03/06/08

Guardian
30/05/08

Inside Housing
30/05/08

Inside Housing
30/05/08

Guardian
30/05/08

Inside Housing
22/05/08

24dash
21/05/08

LGA
16/05/08

Inside Housing
15/05/08

Daily Mirror
09/05/08

Observer
04/05/08

Guardian
03/05/08

Guardian
03/05/08

Independent
02/05/08

Guardian
02/05/08

Independent
01/05/08

24dash
01/05/08

Public Finance
25/04/08

24Dash
17/04/08

Guardian
17/04/08

Observer
06/04/08

Sunday Times
06/04/08

Financial Times
05/04/08

Financial Times
04/04/08

Inside Housing
14/03/08

Inside Housing
22/02/08

Guardian
14/02/08

BBC
08/02/08

Guardian
08/02/08

Inside Housing
08/02/08

Inside Housing
08/02/08

Inside Housing
07/02/08

Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Times
06/02/08

Guardian
06/02/08

Guardian
06/02/08

Guardian
06/02/08

Guardian
06/02/08

Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Daily Mirror
06/02/08

Daily Mirror
06/02/08

New Statesman
06/02/08

Independent
05/02/08

Guardian
05/02/08

BBC
05/02/08

Guardian
05/02/08

24dash
05/02/08

Guardian Unlimited
05/02/08

Inside Housing
01/02/08

Guardian
30/01/08

Guardian
30/01/08

BBC
28/01/08

National Office of Statistics
28/01/08

Inside Housing
14/12/07

Inside Housing
14/12/07

Citizens Advice
12/12/07

CLG
12/12/07

Inside Housing
07/12/07

24 Dash
20/11/07

Inside Housing
16/11/07

Inside Housing
01/11/07

Guardian
20/10/07

Guardian
20/10/07

Public Finance
19/10/07

Guardian
18/10/07

Metro
16/10/07

Guardian
12/10/07

24 Dash
05/10/07

Inside Housing
04/10/07

Guardian
03/10/07

Observer
30/09/07

Guardian
21/09/07

Inside Housing
20/09/07

Inside Housing
20/09/07

Inside Housing
20/09/07

Inside Housing
20/09/07

Inside Housing
14/09/07

Inside Housing
13/09/07

Times
05/09/07

Inside Housing
30/08/07

24 Dash
13/08/07

Socialist Worker
31/07/07

Financial Times
30/07/07

Observer
22/07/07

Public Finance
20/07/07

Guardian
19/07/07

Guardian
18/07/07

Guardian
18/07/07

Guardian
18/07/07

BBC
15/07/07

Observer
15/07/07

Observer
15/07/07

BBC
15/07/07

BBC
14/07/07

Channel4
14/07/07

Inside Housing
13/07/07

Inside Housing
13/07/07

Compass web
12/07/07

Guardian
12/07/07

Independent
11/07/07

BBC
11/07/07

Independent
11/07/07

Guardian Unlimited
11/07/07

BBC
11/07/07

BBC
11/07/07

Independent
11/07/07

Times
11/07/07

BBC
11/07/07

CML
10/07/07

Independent
05/07/07

FSA
04/07/07

Financial Times
16/06/07

Public Finance
15/06/07

Inside Housing
15/06/07

Inside Housing
15/06/07

Guardian Unlimited
14/06/07

Daily Mirror
13/06/07

Socialist Worker
12/06/07

Sunday Telegraph
11/06/07

Daily Mirror
09/06/07

Guardian
07/06/07

Times
07/06/07

Times
07/06/07

Financial Times
02/06/07

Guardian
01/06/07

Guardian
01/06/07

Inside Housing
31/05/07

Times
31/05/07

Daily Telegraph
30/05/07

Financial Times
30/05/07

BBC Politics Show
17/05/07

Independent
16/05/07

Telegraph
09/05/07

Independent
09/05/07

Guardian
04/05/07

Public Finance
04/05/07

Inside Housing
03/05/07

Guardian
20/04/07

Public Finance
20/04/07

Independent
15/04/07

Daily Mirror
14/04/07

Daily Mirror
14/04/07

Independent
14/04/07

Independent
13/04/07

Guardian
13/04/07

Independent
13/04/07

BBC
12/04/07

Guardian Comment
30/03/07

Guardian
29/03/07

Guardian
28/03/07

Sunday Times
18/03/07

Times
06/03/07

New Statesman
05/03/07

Observer (letters)
04/03/07

Public Finance
02/03/07

Inside Housing
01/03/07

Inside Housing
01/03/07

Observer
25/02/07

Public Finance
23/02/07

Inside Housing
23/02/07

Inside Housing
23/02/07

Guardian
22/02/07

Independent
21/02/07

Mirror
21/02/07

Guardian
21/02/07

Mirror
21/02/07

Mirror
21/02/07

Independent
21/02/07

Daily Mirror
21/02/07

DCLG Press Release
20/02/07

Independent
20/02/07

The Times
20/02/07

BBC
20/02/07

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
20/02/07

24dash.com
20/02/07

24 Dash
20/02/07

Society Guardian
20/02/07

Mirror
20/02/07

Society Guardian
20/02/07

Mirror
20/02/07

24dash
19/02/07

Mirror
19/02/07

Mirror
19/02/07

Guardian Comment
19/02/07

Business Guardian
19/02/07

Daily Mirror
19/02/07

Observer
18/02/07

Observer
18/02/07

Public Finance
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Inside Housing
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