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Housing and Planning Act - London Tenants Conference September 29th

About 60 of the 150 delegates were from NFTMO member organisations. There are 75 NFTMO members in London. Last year, in response to the Housing and Planning Bill work with two like-minded organisations resulted in joint campaigning, the two organisations:

London Tenants Federation (LTF): An umbrella group for representative bodies, such as most boroughs’ federation of tenant associations. The LTF seeks to influence housing and regeneration policy on a London and national level.

London Federation of Housing Coops (LFHC): Brings together all types of tenant/resident controlled organisations to share experience, expertise and resources. It has 50 member organisations.

Concerns about the Housing and Planning Act unify the three organisations:

  • Most mainstream social housing tenants seem unaware of the implications making bottom-up campaign work very difficult
  • The legislation will significantly reduce access to secure, genuinely affordable and well-constructed homes within stable and supportive communities for ordinary working people
  • The impact of forced sales will be much greater in London than elsewhere in the country

Last year representatives of the three organisations produced:

  1. A simple one page accessible briefing for tenants, particularly TRA/TMO representatives. This was distributed as far as we could through our member organisations and via tenant participation staff.
  2. A briefing for tenants who wanted to lobby members of the House of Lords
  3. A press release which gained coverage around Pay to Stay (some members were interviewed in the Observer and LTF analysis on Pay to Stay was referred to in Observer and Independent articles).

Representatives of the three organisations have continued to meet since the publication of the Housing and Planning Act – with a view to try to continue with the work started together in London. This alliance is seeking a positive response to a challenging situation.

The aim of the conference was to enthuse, strengthen and inform participants. To help activism to become more effective and sustainable.

Key themes:

How can we become stronger?

How can we more effectively make the case for not-for-profit housing?

How can mainstream council and housing association tenants change the power relationship?

How can we sustain & support communities under threat?

How can we build more new not for profit housing?

John Perry a housing expert specifically addressed whether there is room for manoeuvre within the Housing and Planning Act.