TENANTS AND trade unionists from across Britain were travelling to the House of Commons this week to lobby their MPs and attend an important meeting about council housing. It is the All-Party Council Housing group of MPs' inquiry and meeting on the "Fourth Option".
The meeting comes just a few days after an influential select committee of backbench MPs reported on its "decent homes" inquiry and came out clearly in favour of the fourth option-direct investment in council housing.
The report concludes that the government's "dogmatic pursuit" of privatising council housing isn't justified and denies tenants real choice. Alan Walter of Defend Council Housing said, "We welcome this report. It clearly comes out against the government's policy of privatising council housing and supports the call for a fourth option-an investment allowance to enable councils to improve council homes themselves. Tenants are sick of the blackmail and bullying-we are not prepared to trade our secure tenancies and affordable rents for new kitchens or bathrooms. It's time ministers recognised the strength of opposition around the country. They say they are in favour of choice-well, let us choose to have the council improve our homes direct."