Sheffield campaigners lobby MPs about council houses

Sheffield campaigners have lobbied MPs about the city's housing needs
Sheffield campaigners have lobbied MPs about the city's housing needs
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Fire safety in tower blocks and council houses repairs were just two of the issues raised when Sheffield campaigners met MPs at the House of Commons.

Delegations from across the country attended a meeting of the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing and made clear demands for action on a wide range of issues.

The topics discussed included campaigning against regeneration plans which would see tenants lose their homes, properties which hadn’t seen any major repairs carried out for up to four years and concerns about fire safety following the Grenfell fire.

Sheffield campaigner Carrie Hedderwick, from Defend Council Housing, said: “There needs to be 100,000 council homes built each year to provide “decent, inexpensive, publicly owned homes with secure tenancies” and the Right to Buy programme needs to be suspended otherwise the housing stock disappears as fast as it is replaced.”

Defend Council Housing said it was pleased there was a growing group of MPs and Lords who “back investment in council housing and are prepared to listen to tenants”.

The issues raised will be collated into a report, which will inform the work of MPs. Demands included more Government investment in existing and new council housing that is safe and landlords recognising independent tenant organisations.

The campaigners also want public land to be used to build publicly-owned council homes, holding resident ballots before homes are redeveloped and the immediate release of promised funding for fire and other vital safety improvement work.

Matt Western MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing, said: “I was delighted to invite council tenants from across the country to offer their views on what the Government and MPs should be doing to ensure council tenants have access to high-quality, safe, genuinely affordable housing.

“The Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing has been recently relaunched to help make the case in Parliament for more high-quality council housing, and it is important our views are formed with current tenants across the country.”

Carrie Hedderwick, from Defend Council Housing, is keen to hear from Sheffield tenants and can be contacted on hedderwickc@gmail.com