Socialist Worker

Defend Council Housing

by Paul Fredericks
Issue No. 1962

New Labour in Tower Hamlets, east London, is looking increasingly desperate on many fronts, not least in the struggles over council housing.

In the most recent ballot of tenants in what is called “Housing Choice” it was only seven votes that decided to transfer 2500 properties to a private landlord.

This was achieved by a catalogue of pressures, abuses and propaganda used to bully tenants.

But with the momentum of the anti-transfer campaign gathering pace, residents are seeing through the spin and fighting back.

Defend Council Housing (DCH) meetings continue throughout the borough and recent Respect “housing summits” have had hundreds of local people turning out.

Housing privatisation went to the heart of the New Labour defeat at the last election and council officials are now seeing their days are numbered.

Between now and next May this council will want to push the sell-off of as many estates as possible before the chance of Respect taking control.

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Sat 6 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1962
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