The housing debate is hotting up with news that government will publish a new consultative Housing Green Paper in the next two weeks.
Some reports suggest they aim to publish next Thursday (July 12) when tenants, trade unionists, councillors and MPs will be taking part in the DCH National Conference in Central London.
Union delegates have been putting their "Hands up for the Fourth Option" at recent conferences. Organise at an appropriate meeting/event in your area for tenants, trade unionists and councillors to join them. Order hands from DCH £10 for 50 (photo Simon Clark eyebox.net).
We've always said this campaign isn't a spectator sport so, if you believe in defending, improving and building new council housing, come to the conference and make sure there is a broad delegation
of tenants, trade unionists and councillors from your area. Ask your council to fund a delegation on the same basis that they send people to other similar events. If the council
refuse contact local trade unions for financial assistance and shared transport. Please email registration details in advance to help smooth the organisation
or register on the day.
Defend Council Housing has posted a 'Fourth Option' for council housing
e-petition on the Downing Street website.
Forward on this email to help collect signatures
Supporters of council housing will measure the government's response by whether policies and funding are put in place to:
1. Improve all existing council homes and estates
2. Start a new council house building programme
3. Ensure sufficient funds to maintain all council homes in future years
Demand immediate moratorium on bullying and blackmail
It's also clear that there should be an immediate moratorium on local authorities bullying tenants to accept stock transfer, PFI or ALMOs - or mass demolition of homes, sale of council land
and properties. Speaking at the DCH Fringe Meeting at the Local Government Association conference yesterday (Wednesday) Frank Dobson MP argued "It is imperative that there now be a moratorium on any further transfers or ALMOs until the government announces their new policy”.
If your authoritiy is 'consulting' tenants demand they put it on hold and make sure tenants are aware we're fighting to secure a change in government policy.
No details of the Green Paper are yet known (keep an eye on the DCH website and Press Archive)
but the new Prime Minister has a choice: if he wants to earn a reputation for listening to the people and respecting tenants' choice
then government has to recognise the overwhelming support for the 'Fourth Option' of direct investment in council housing and announce a change in policy.
And while it is reasonable to give the new Prime Minister some time to settle into his new job he's no novice and the arguments around investment in council housing have been fully
debated. So we'll be looking for a clear timescale involving days and weeks - not months and years - to implement the changes and put the necessary funding in place.
Labour conference policy clear...
As the motion passed at Labour's own conference last year put it "A Labour government cannot leave council tenants who have rejected privatisation without improvements... Conference again calls on government to provide the 'fourth option' of direct investment to council housing as a matter of urgency".
latest DCH newspaper
DCH July 12 conference flyer
'Fourth Option' 2006 Labour Conference
Around 200 authorities would directly benefit from 'Fourth Option' changes to revenue and capital funding including those retaining their homes, those with ALMOs and those where tenants have rejected privatisation or not yet voted. And all authorities across England, Scotland and Wales would gain from the opportunity to build new council housing.
Help step up the pressure to bring this campaign to a successful conclusion:
- Pass this model motion Word .doc or
pdf in your organisation
- Help campaign against any stock transfer, PFI or ALMO proposals in your area
- Organise a delegation of tenants, councillors and trade unionists to attend the DCH national conference on July 12
- Order and distribute campaign material in your organisation and area (new DCH newspaper and
'Case for Council Housing in 21st Century Britain' pamphlet)
- Sign the e-petition and encourage others to sign too
- Ask your MP to sign EDM 136 Funding Decent Council Housing and join the Council Housing group of MPs at Parliament
- Distribute campaign material at tenants and union conferences and other events (email to get material posted to you)
- Organise a 'Hands up for the fourth option' event in your area and contact the press (Order 'hands' £10 for 50 inc p&p)
- Affiliate & donate to DCH
Further information from www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
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