Socialist Worker

New attack on council housing tenancies

Issue No. 2229

Housing minister Grant Shapps has announced that councils and housing associations will be able to scrap lifetime tenancies and replace them with fixed-term agreements of two years.

Tenants could be evicted because they find a better job and their income rises.

Shapps claims lifetime secure tenancies “trap existing tenants in poverty.” But fearing homelessness if you get a pay rise is a powerful “poverty trap”.

Defend Council Housing (DCH) chair Eileen Short has called on government ministers to “rethink this madness and start an emergency programme of building new council homes”.

Council rents are to increase by an inflation busting 6.8 percent from April 2011 according to figures in the draft housing revenue subsidy settlement for 2011-12.

A new campaign, Housing Emergency, has been launched to combat attacks on housing benefit and the introduction of market rents.

Initiated by DCH and Austin Mitchell MP, it is supported by tenants’ organisations, unions (including the PCS, Unite and GMB), the Right to Work campaign and London Coalition Against Poverty.

It has agreed to hold a protest outside Downing Street on 15 December and a lobby of parliament on 16 February.

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Tue 23 Nov 2010, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2229
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