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25Jun92 UK: CONFERENCE HEARS SOCIAL HOUSING CONTRACTORS COULD FACE COMPETITION FROM EUROPEAN DIRECT LABOUR ORGANISATIONS.

British contractors could face competition for social housing work from French and Dutch direct labour organisations, a housing expert has predicted.Madeline Drake, author of a book on Europe for housing managers, told last week's Institute of Housing conference that Government plans to bring in competitive tendering for housing management could open up the field to continental bodies.The French and Dutch DLOs are run by housing associations.Boulogne's housing association is currently looking for opportunities for its DLO in southern England. In the past it has advertised for British firms to repair its tower blocks.Under European competition rules public works contracts worth more than £3.3 million and supplies contracts worth more than £132,400 must go to EC-wide tender. This is due to be extended to design services.British laws on competitive tendering open housing work to foreign firms. CONSTRUCTION NEWS