Stop the abolition of council housing

Submitted by Matthew on 9 September, 2015 - 9:08 Author: George Peters

Tory plans for the NHS, the welfare state, public services, and the trade unions are vicious. Their objective is to reverse all the gains made by the working class since 1945.

Nowhere is this more stark than their intention to completely abolish council housing.

They have already pushed through attacks on council housing. The virtual ending of council house building, “right to buy” at massively discounted prices, huge and sustained rent increases, bedroom tax, 80% market rents, ending security of tenure, etc.

Now they plan to impose means testing on all council tenants. Those above a certain income or with a certain level of savings will be forcibly moved into private rented accommodation or face “special” rent increases.

They also want to force local authorities to sell off council housing in theory to fund “right to buy” of housing association homes but in reality as the next stage in their strategy of abolishing council housing in its entirety. Indeed one Tory newspaper boasted this will “wipe out” council housing in London.

There are scandals like selling off of Woodberry Down and the New Era estate and the eviction of young people in Focus E15 hostel accommodation.

Particular despicable is “Hendon Waterside” where the Tory council in Barnet has handed over an entire estate to Barratt Homes for luxury “development”. Tenants face eviction with as little as oner week's notice.

It is now normal for councils to empty estates and then hand them over to “developers” with no concern for local housing needs or the tenants’ welfare.

The Tories call this regeneration. The truth – it is social cleansing.

But the Tories cannot achieve their objective without the collaboration of Labour councils. The actions of local authorities like Haringey are crucial to their plans.

Haringey council plans to demolish 4,000 council homes and replace them with luxury housing. To stop the Tories we must stop Haringey council. Everyone who has joined the Labour Party must become activists, and must pressure the local Labour Parties, councillors, and the two MPs Catherine West and David Lammy, to oppose the demolitions.

Labour councils were not elected to do the Tories’ dirty work.

We need a massive campaign to fight the Tory plans tooth and nail, involving the Labour Party at every level especially a re-energised Young Labour, the tenants movement, and trade unions, linking up and coordinating the various struggles, and pressurising Labour councils like Haringey to back down.

United we can win!

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