Across the country tenants associations and federations, local authorities, trade unions and an increasing number of MPs are increasingly interested in a 4th option for Council housing to add to the government’s preferred options which represent either full or part privatisation of local authority housing stock. This report, from the Centre for Public Services, makes a comprehensive case for the 4th Option for council investment.
Council housing is a socially important housing tenure. It is democratically accountable, has a range of economic benefits and provides access to affordable housing. Even within the government’s own rules for public spending, there is ample room to deliver the needed investment to correct 30 years of under-investment and marginalisation, especially if government subsidies for Large Scale Voluntary Transfer and PFI are diverted into direct investment. Arms Length Management Organisations, introduced by the government as a ‘third way’ for council housing, is in reality a stepping stone to privatisation, undermines democratic accountability and impacts negatively on tenants, staff and the local authority.