'Fourth Option' - investment to improve existing and build a new generation of first class council housing
DCH publishes new report as Labour's national policy forum meets
Defend Council Housing has published it's initial submission to the government's 'Review of Council Housing Finance' to coincide with the Labour Party National Policy Forum starting today. The forum is due to discuss amendments supporting the 'Fourth Option' for council housing.

The campaign has also modelled the impact of fully funding allowances to make council housing sustainable without breaking up the national HRA. Yvette Cooper, launching the review last December, promised it would "ensure that we have a sustainable, long term system for financing council housing".

Successive governments have been robbing money out of council housing, blackmailing tenants to accept privatisation and discriminating against new council housing. They alone are denied access to Social Housing Grant effectively ensuring new homes are not 'council housing' with secure tenancies, lower rents and an elected landlord that is directly accountable.

Councils are still using their lack of resources to try and get tenants to accept one of the government's privatisation options - now including the new 'Local Housing Company' public/private partnerships.

The "‘Fourth Option’ for council housing makes sense" submission sets out the case for government ending the robbery from council housing to fund improvements to existing homes and build a new generation of first class council housing to meet housing need. Dozens of Constituency Labour Parties and unions have submitted amendments to Labour's national policy forum this weekend supporting the campaign's demands which are also backed by the trade unions and many MPs and councillors.

Labour Party conferences in 2004, 2005 and 2006 passed motions supporting the 'Fourth Option' for council housing (report. The 2007 conference agreed to refer Composite 6 to a special Housing Sub Group with the provision for the movers and seconders to report back to the 2008 conference if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

The Local Government Association, Chartered Institute of Housing and others published a policy statement on 2 July endorsing the campaign's key demands for ring-fencing all the money that belongs to council housing (rents and receipts). See DCH website for report and analysis.

DCH has written to Housing Minister Iain Wright to complain about the lack of tenant involvement in the government's review process. We are still waiting for a formal reply.

Investment in first class council housing is urgently needed to improve existing homes, meet the government's 2010 Decent Homes target and to start a new council housebuilding programme. With the private housing market in meltdown investment in first class council housing makes sense!

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For background information on the demand for the 'Fourth Option' for council housing and who supports the campaign see www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk

Background information

DCH submission to Review of Council Housing Finance

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

Current campaign newspaper

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