Partial transfers cost more

20 Jun 02
Stock transfers could become more expensive if large urban authorities are encouraged to switch their housing to a series of registered social landlords.

21 June 2002

Simon Kimberley, chief executive of Optima Community Association in Birmingham, told a fringe conference session at the Chartered Institute of Housing's annual conference in Harrogate that partial transfers were bound to mean fewer economies of scale.

Optima took over 2,800 homes from Birmingham Council in 1999 – three years before the authority's large-scale voluntary transfer was rejected by tenants – and is spending £350m on refurbishing the properties over eight years.

'There is a balance between having an organisation which responds to local needs and makes things happen fairly quickly and keeping an eye on overhead costs,' he said.

'The overheads are high. There has to be a business plan which covers that.'

John Perry, CIH director of policy, said the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was looking at ways of facilitating partial transfers but it might mean that an additional £250m was needed.


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