'Fourth Option' - investment to improve existing and build a new generation of first class council housing
Key issues to discuss at DCH conference on 25 November

Have you answered DCH's Four Questions online?

It's only three weeks to the DCH National Conference on 25 November. This is a critical time (whether your authority is directly managing homes or has an ALMO) and also a great opportunity to rally our forces to press home the argument for a massive programme of investment in first class council housing. Circulate the conference programme, read the proposed policy statement and make sure there's a broad based delegation coming from your area.
The conference provides an essential opportunity for tenants, trade unionists and councillors to discuss the big issue - promoting a public alternative to the failure of the private market in housing - as well as addressing in detail what we want from the government's Review of Council Housing Finance, our response to the draft Subsidy Determination issued last week (a 6.2% guideline rent increase with a nearly 8% increase in the robbery!) and opposing the latest proposals to introduce means testing to introduce means testing. These have been deliberately floated ahead of the Housing Reform Green Paper due next month, undermining the principle that first class council housing should be a mainstream form of tenure available to all who want to rent.
This will be the first and only chance for many tenants, trade unionists or councillors to hear a presentation on the Review of Council Housing Finance from Steve Hilditch (faciliating the review) and Steve Partridge (HQN) and contribute to formulating a policy to put forward. The draft policy document proposes we should be demanding that government "Ring-fence the national HRA and fully fund allowances to local authorities for the management, maintenance and repair of council housing at an objective and independently assessed level of need". The conference also now gives us the opportunity to submit a collective response to the draft HRA Subsidy Determination before the December 9 consultation deadline.
Clive Betts MP (chair of the ALMO group at Parliament) is now joining MPs Frank Dobson, Paul Holmes, Michael Meacher and Austin Mitchell who are contributing alongside tenants activists, leading trade unionists and academics (see full list).
The conference aims to begin to reunite the council housing family (authorities directly managing their homes and ALMOs) to secure the future for council housing and give those facing 'stock options appraisals' and transfer ballots the opportunity to hear the argument for an immediate moratorium and the case against privatisation.
Organise a delegation from your area to take part. Circulate the programme and registration form to tenants reps, trade unionists and councillors in your area and use the new DCH 'HRA Ready Reckoner' to publicise how much your authority would get if government agreed to fully fund allowances as the outcome from the review.
Local authorities pay for tenants to attend all sorts of conferences and events. Ask yours to sponsor tenants to attend this conference so that they can hear from a wide range of speakers, participate in the workshops and meet tenants from other areas.
For background information on the demand for the 'Fourth Option' for council housing and who supports the campaign see www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk

Other meetings coming up...

Compass 'After market meltdown: a new age for the active state?'
6-7.30pm Tuesday 25 November, CR 11, House of Parliament, London, SW1 Speakers: Treasury Minister Angela Eagle MP; Jon Cruddas MP, The Guardian's Larry Elliott, nef Economist Andrew Simms, Ann Pettifor author of The coming first world debt crisis and chaired by Neal Lawson with others to be confirmed in due course. Full details here. The meeting is free to attend but registration is essential, email info@compassonline.org.uk. Check out the all new Compass website at: http://www.compassonline.org.uk

Public Services Not Private Profit
Islington Rally, 7pm, 11th November City University, Centennial Building, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB Speakers include: Brian Caton (GS, POA), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Baljeet Ghale (President, NUT), Jane Loftus (CWU), Sean Vernell (UCU), Mark Serwotka (GS, PCS), Chair: Chair - Paul Brandon (UNITE Rep, Holloway Bus Garage) Luton TUC and St. Albans, Welwyn and Hatfield TUC co-host Rally 7pm, 19th November 08 @ The Red Lion, Hatfield, AL6 5EU. Speakers include: Brian Caton (GS, POA), Billy Hayes (GS, CWU), Pete Keenlyside (NEC, CWU), Mark Serwotka (GS, PCS) Full details on website or call 0207 219 1626

A World in Crisis: the Socialist Solution
Marxism 2008 One Day Special Conference 1-7pm, Saturday 6 December Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London (opposite Euston Station) Meetings include: + Understanding the world economic crisis + How do we stop the Nazi BNP? + Can socialist planning work? + The 1930s & the great depression + The U.S. needs change - can Obama deliver? + Reformism, trade unions & the crisis + Keynes vs Marx + Imperialism in the age of economic crisis = The case for socialism + There will be a Cultures of Resistance gig in the evening at the Vibe Bar. Entry will be £8. Download the postal booking form or book online.
Circulate the conference programme locally

Use the new DCH 'HRA Ready Reckoner' to see how much your authority would get if government fully funded allowances for management, maintenance and repair of council housing.

latest newspaper

DCH Initial Submission to government's 'Review of Council Housing Finance

Stock Transfer briefing

Information and questions to ask on 'stock options appraisals'

Affiliate and donate - DCH desperately needs resources!

DCH Dear Gordon 2 and Case for Council Housing in 21st Century Britain pamphlets set out the arguments

Early Day Motion Investment in Council Housing (EDM 368) showing broad support amongst MPs across all parties.

House of Commons Council Housing Group report and Third Reading Briefing on Housing & Regeneration Bill