Select Committee Support CPS Position on Housing

The influential ODPM Select Committee has released a report substantially supporting CPS' call for a 4th Option for Council Housing investment. (12/05/04)

5 May 2004

The Select Committee which shadows the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has released a report on the investment options made available to local authorities for the improvement of their housing stock. The report, published on Friday 7 May substantiates CPS' call for a 4th option to be made available based upon retention of the stock in the public sector, increased democratic accountability and direct public sector investment. CPS' own report: The 4th Option for Council Housing, was released just a matter of days earlier.

The Select Committee report concurs with the our report on the following points.

The Decent Homes Target is being used to privatise local authority housing. The Select Committee report says:

"The Government is in effect using the decent homes target as an indirect means to lever local authority housing out of direct local authority control or even ownership."

That local authorities are opting for Arms Length Management Organisations because they represent the 'least worst' option:

"A number of local authorities with high performance ratings have opted for ALMO only because they were unable to achieve adequate investment funding with their first choice - stock retention"

There is no evidence that Arms Length Management offers any short or long-term advantage:

"We have not heard evidence that creating an ALMO per se enhances the achievement of Decent Homes, or indeed of tenant satisfaction."

That the government should immediately make funds available to local authorities for direct public sector investment which in many cases is the best route and safeguards tenants and the public interest:

"The Committee recommends that the government revisit its dogmatic pursuit of the separation of stock management and strategic management of housing. A flexible policy and level playing field is needed so that tenants and Councillors can tailor solutions to suit local circumstances. In some cases the optimal solution, as well as one preferred by tenants, may well be that the Local Authority retain full ownership and management responsibilities."

Dexter Whitfield, Director of the Centre for Public Services said:

"This totally vindicates our position. ALMOs are the product of the government's dogmatic drive toward the privatisation of Council Housing. Direct public investment is the only way to improve local authority housing stock while maintaining democratic control and accountability and maintaining an important social tenure."

The CPS report The 4th Option for Council Housing is available from our website to download.

Contact CPS for more details.


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This document was created by Alex Nunn on 2004-05-12 14:11:43.
This document was last modified by Dexter Whitfield on 2008-10-27 16:32:59.
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