Invest in Council Housing/Decent Homes

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Conference
2003 National Delegate Conference
Date
29 May 2003
Decision
Carried

Conference believes that decent affordable housing is a fundamental right of all citizens and is particularly concerned about the lack of supply of low cost quality homes for working people and their families in the United Kingdom.

Conference notes that Government cannot now meet its Decent Homes Target of bringing all council housing up to a decent standard by 2010. It acknowledges that in August the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister issued a Blue Skies consultation paper The Way Forward for Housing Capital Finance and that the Deputy Prime Minister reported its findings in January 2003 along with the Comprehensive Spending Review figures for housing.

However, Conference is very concerned at the announcement on 5 February 2003 of the Communities Plan. This Plan effectively sounds the death knell for council housing, by promoting only the use of Stock Transfer, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Arms Length Management Organisations.

Conference believes that local authorities should be given the necessary resources and borrowing powers to improve their homes, and be able to build new ones, so increasing the supply of affordable homes in the region.

If the Government continues to ignore the evidence that PFI is not giving value for money, that the public is increasingly opposed to Large Scale Voluntary Transfers and that the take up of ALMOs is not according to plan, then it is not giving tenants a proper choice for the future of their homes.

Conference believes that local authorities should be given the necessary resources and borrowing powers to improve their homes and be able to build new ones so increasing the supply of affordable homes.

Conference supports the demands of UNISON, UCATT, GMB and TGWU for an investment allowance for local authorities so that they can develop the prudential borrowing powers proposed in the Local Government Bill.

Conference calls upon the National Affiliated Political Fund Committee to continue the campaign for direct investment in council housing and affirms its support for campaigning activities on the part of trade unionists and tenant groups designed to promote greater awareness of and lobbying on these issues.