Friday, March 06, 2009

Making the case for council housing

MORE THAN 200 people including tenants, councillors, officers and trade unionists took part in the House of Commons Council Housing Group’s inquiry at Westminster on 25th February. Fourteen MPs heard verbal evidence from 25 delegations, dozens of local authorities, tenants’ organisations and trade unions have submitted written evidence and many met their MPs whilst at Westminster.
Campaigners from Defend Council Housing are asking everyone to make sure their MP signs the Early Day Motion Council House Building (EDM 355) and joins the Council Housing group at Parliament to show their support.
Delegations called for an end to the “robbery” from tenants’ rents – £1.7 billion this year!
They made a strong argument that Government has to stop charging tenants for “historic debts” that should have been paid several times over from the money government has siphoned out of council housing.
Everyone agreed that rents and receipts should be ring-fenced to fund the management, maintenance, repair and improvement of council housing although there is a debate about whether the national Housing Revenue Account should be maintained.
The Council Housing group intends to produce a report to submit to Housing Minister Margaret Beckett and has asked to meet Gordon Brown.

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