There’s allegations over on Bristol Indymedia that Bristol City Council may be attempting to transfer its council housing stock by stealth to the private sector.
The allegations centre around the role of the council’s new Housing Management Board, which supposedly plays an advisory role in the formation of Bristol’s public housing policy.
This board currently consists of four councillors, four council tenants and a couple of independents. However it has already run into criticism because the tenants weren’t elected to this board by other tenants but selected instead by councillors.
It’s also been criticised for taking over the role of the council’s own Area Housing Committees, which – while viewed as ineffective and deliberately mired in council bureaucracy – do at least consist of properly elected tenant representatives.
Now the council want to increase the powers(pdf) of their Housing Management Board to provide it with similar powers to an ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) or RSL (Registered Social Landlord). Both are considered soft forms of or halfway houses to privatisation.
The fact that the future of Bristol’s council housing will soon lie largely in the hands of four unelected council tenants selected by councillors should be cause for considerable concern. The Blogger will be reporting more on this in the coming weeks.