By Mick Patrick
Mick Patrick is the Branch Secretary for Harlow Trades Union Council, Branch Secretary Essex Unite Community Branch, Delegate to Essex County Trades Council Association, Steering committee to Homes for all. Member of National Defend Council Housing Committee and Chair Of Harlow Defend Council Housing.
I visited the Consultation at Our Lady Fatima on 27th November. My main concern was the lack of council housing. I was flabbergasted at the reply I received, as they said that there is in fact council housing!!!! Further Dialog showed up a total deceit. The consultant I was speaking to said it was council housing because it is allocated by the council. I then had to explain the concept of council housing history, that council housing is grant or direct funded by government for up to 30/40% market rate affordable rent with accountable landlords. i.e. the elected council. Housing association landlords charge up to 60/80% market rents and are owned by private companies which are not necessarily social landsords. In essence the rent formula for true council housing is much cheaper than the 60 to 80 % market rents of housing association. Housing association homes ARE NOT AFFORABLE to most of the people on the Housing need register. In Fact, most would be on Universal credit or housing benefit that we are all paying our taxes for.
The lengths they go to sell us this are truly shocking!