Housing sell-off gets go-ahead

28 Jun 01
Twenty-seven councils have been given the green light to sell off swathes of their housing stock as the government renewed its commitment last week to the large-scale transfer of council housing to social landlords.

29 June 2001

In a record transfer, tenants in 328,000 council homes will be able to vote whether or not they wish to transfer their homes out of local authority control.

Housing minister Sally Keeble said the transfers, which will take place over the next two years, would only go ahead if tenants supported the move.

She added: 'Stock transfers offer benefits for tenants. The new landlord is committed to deliver proper maintenance and future repairs. Increased investment from private sources means that any backlog of repairs can be carried out more quickly than if properties had remained in local authority ownership.'

For the first time, councils will have expert backing from the newly created Community Housing Task Force. The government wants to ensure that new social landlords regenerate communities in partnership with tenants.

Walsall, Dudley and Bradford councils will make the largest transfers, each preparing to shift more than 25,000 homes to registered social landlords over the next two years.

Keeble has insisted that Harrogate council and the London boroughs of Ealing and Hackney take more time to develop their proposals, while England's largest council landlord, Birmingham, has been granted the chance to transfer its housing stock pending a valuation.

However, the government has stalled Sheffield's plans. The council has been sent back to work on its proposals.


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