Socialist Worker

Tory housing green paper will not solve the crisis - we need more council housing

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2617

The Tory assault on housing has led to repeated protests

The Tory assault on housing has led to repeated protests (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The Tories announced their new social housing green paper on Tuesday.

Much was made of giving social housing tenants more say in the management of their homes after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Communities minister James Brokenshire even said the paper would change a culture where “I am made to feel less of a person than the person that has bought their house.”

Yet the Tories have pushed that idea for decades.

They have created a housing crisis. The answer is more council housing where landlords—councils—are democratically accountable to their tenants.

But the Tories have given no money for council house building.

Hidden behind the headlines was a genuine climbdown.

One part of the hated Housing and Planning Act would have forced councils to sell council housing stock to fund the extension of Right to Buy to housing associations.

That policy has now been scrapped—a victory for campaigners.

The green paper proposes “league tables” for social housing landlords, apparently to increase accountability.

Grenfell Tower resident Edward Daffarn hit the nail on the head with his response.

“Social housing is not like choosing a doctor,” he said. “You can’t just up sticks and move if your housing association gets a low rating.

“Much more is needed to put power in residents’ hands.”

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