Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Lobby to Keep Homes

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Lobby to Keep Homes

Article excerpt

Tenants, councillors and trade unionists from almost 100 local authorities descended on Parliament last week to campaign for direct investment in council housing.

Ninety-seven councils have told the government that they plan to meet the 2010 decent homes target without transferring their stock to a housing association or setting up an arms-length management organisation.

But it is unclear how many will achieve this without ministers giving way and allowing a so-called 'fourth option.

A total of 92 authorities took part in the lobby on February 8, organised by Defend Council Housing, which aimed to gain more support from backbench MPs. 'Ministers are under growing pressure to do something,' said DCH chair Alan Walter. 'They have lost the financial arguments.'

Paul Russell, Southampton City Council Cabinet member for housing, said council housing was cheaper to build, manage and maintain. …

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