Harlow Council tenants take campaign for Council Housing to Parliament

Politics / Sun 22nd Jul 2018 at 09:50am

HARLOW Defend Council Housing (HDCH) recently visited the House of Commons to participate in a meeting of the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing, where MPs heard evidence from tenants across England on the key issues concerning council housing.

MPs listened carefully as delegations from across the country made clear demands for action on a wide range of issues; including campaigning against regeneration plans which would see them lose their homes, to properties which hadn’t seen any major repairs carried out for up to four years, to concerns about fire safety – including a contribution from Grenfell survivors’ group, Grenfell United.

Harlow Defend Council Housing Chair Mick Patrick said: “Unless we invest we have a mass programme of council house building on the same scale as the 50s and 60s, the council housing list will always grow in demand. Our children and future generation will have no hope.

Former Harlow Council leader Jim Rogers said: “This meeting was important DCH members from all over the country were able to clearly report on the grossly haphazard nature of the supply of urgently needed council housing.

Secretary of Harlow Trades Union Council, David Foreman said: “We need a programme of good quality environmentally sustainable council housing with a mass apprenticeship programme.

Matt Western MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing said: “I was delighted to invite council tenants from across the country to offer their views on what the Government and MPs should be doing to ensure council tenants have access to high-quality, safe, genuinely affordable housing.

The Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing has been recently relaunched to help make the case for more high-quality council housing in Parliament, and it is important our views are formed with current tenants across the country.”

David Drew MP, Vice-Chair, said: “It was important and useful to hear directly from tenants associations about their experiences and concerns. It is overwhelmingly clear that more council housing, and giving local authorities the ability to build more homes and maintain them properly, is a vital part of the solution to the UK’s housing crisis.”

Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing, which supports the campaign, said: “With another housing minister gone, and housing policy failing yet again, it’s very good to have a growing group of MPs and Lords who back investment in council housing, and are prepared to listen to tenants. Grenfell showed how tenants die when landlords don’t listen – we support the survivors’ determination to ensure safe, secure homes for all.”

The key issues raised will be collated into a report, which will inform the work of MPs who form the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing. Demands included more Government investment in existing and new council housing that is safe, landlords recognising and listening to independent tenant organisations, using public land to build publicly-owned council homes, holding resident ballots before homes are redeveloped and the immediate release of promised funding for fire and other vital safety improvement work.

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