Socialist Worker

Labour must promise ballots over regeneration

Issue No. 2585

John Healey

John Healey (Pic: Chris McAndrew/WikiCommons)

The Labour Party has launched an online survey about the state of social housing in Britain.

It is designed as part of Labour’s promised social housing review. At last year’s party conference Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced a “radical programme of action”.

Questions include, “How do we ensure an effective voice and role for tenants with their landlords, including on estate regeneration?”

But the demands from social tenants are clear—any regeneration proposals should be put to a ballot of residents.

The Labour leadership knows this—and Corbyn has promised regeneration ballots.

Launching the review, shadow housing minister John Healey said, “I want to hear from the housing sector about what you think Labour should do to put social housing at the centre of our efforts to tackle the housing crisis.”

Healey has consistently put bosses’ interests above those of tenants.

The review could be seen as a fudge designed to delay an internal battle or avoid one altogether.

But the fight is already happening—estates are being sold off and redeveloped. And it is often Labour councils doing the dirty work.

The Labour leadership should stop trying to appease the right and fight for a radical vision of housing. But it’s increasingly clear that they won’t without pressure from below.

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