THE GOVERNMENT is on the back foot over privatisation of council housing. Sheffield council has just announced it is officially calling off its transfer, and ministers now acknowledge that stock transfer will be rejected by tenants in most areas.
Eighty nine MPs have signed the 'Case for Council Housing' early day motion in parliament, and a follow up 'Case for Council Housing Update' motion will be submitted following the Queen's Speech. Tenants and trade unionists have forced deputy prime minister John Prescott to instigate a review of housing finance. This potentially opens the door to a secure future for council tenants.
There are 2.8 million council tenants and their families in England and Wales. Their housing is a very important working class issue. Every council is facing pressure from the government to consider privatisation. But tenants are sick of the blackmail that says the only way we can get repairs and improvements is to accept transfer, PFI or the new ALMOs.
We refuse to trade secure tenancies and affordable rents for new bathrooms and kitchens. We demand both!
Defend Council Housing is holding a lobby of parliament and rally at Westminster Central Hall on 29 January 2003. Further information and copies of the lobby leaflet and poster are available on the DCH website: www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk