There’s a debate that’s happening in Bristol, or at least should be happening, about whether or not the council should keep hold of some or all of its council house stock. I say should be happening because the debate has been neatly set up by the Homes Commission in its recent report published last month – I talked about this report in a recent blog. One of the ten ‘big ideas’ in that report was about making best use of council assets to deliver more affordable housing in the city, an aim supported by just about everyone. However, the difficult bit comes when you mention ‘stock transfer’. The notion of moving council homes out of council ownership has been resisted in Bristol every since the policy came about (mid-late 1980s). Indeed only around 3,000 of the initial 48,000 council stock has been transferred to other registered providers (housing associations) and Bristol remains one of the few big cities to have held onto its council stock, with some 28,000 homes still run and managed by the council (the rest has been lost to Right to Buy).