Socialist Worker

Association landlords get more power over tenants

Issue No. 2549

Housing campaigners have forced sections of the Housing and Planning Act to be dropped

Housing campaigners have forced sections of the Housing and Planning Act to be dropped (Pic: Dean Ryan)


Housing associations were deregulated by the Tories on Thursday of last week.

The change means that housing association tenants have dramatically less protection against being turfed out of their homes.

The Tories’ hated Housing and Planning Act has begun to come into effect—and housing association deregulation is a part of it.

The act was delayed partly because of pressure from the Axe the Housing Act campaign.

Parts of the act, such as the pay to stay, will not come into effect.

But the sections of it that have survived will still be devastating if they are not resisted and defeated.

Deregulation means the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will no longer have to approve important changes to housing associations.

Selling

For instance, housing associations won’t have to get approval for mergers, nor for selling homes whether or not they have tenants living in them.

Associations also won’t have to ask for HCA approval before borrowing against the value of their housing stock.

All of these changes represent a massive attack on tenants’ and residents’ rights.

But tenants and residents are organising against them. A group of tenants and residents formed a new campaign group to fight against the changes at a meeting on Wednesday of last week.

The new group, the Housing Association Residents Action (HARA) have called a protest outside the Affordable Home Ownership Conference.

It takes place on 8 June outside the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG.


Councillors caught lying about demolition plans

Tenants outraged as Labour council drives through Tory demolition
Tenants outraged as Labour council drives through Tory demolition
  Read More

Haringey Labour council has been exposed over redevelopment plans that will mean the demolition of seven estates in the north London borough.

Council leaders have claimed that there will be no loss of social housing after the redevelopment. But a Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by campaigners shows that this is untrue.

The FOI made the Strategic Spatial Masterplan for the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham publicly available.

But the council only released one hard copy after the request. No digital copies were made available.

The Masterplan, drawn up by architectural firm Arup, lists three scenarios for the demolition of the Broadwater Farm estate.

In each of these options over 400 socially-rented homes would be lost, and over 500 if housing association and temporary housing is taken into account.

The council has consistently failed to provide accurate information about the redevelopment.

Tenants and residents are demanding a vote on the redevelopment proposals for the entire borough.

Housing campaigns have called a National March for Homes on 24 June. Go to axethehousingact.org.uk for more information

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