Council to look at homes transfer

PUBLISHED: 11:58 22 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

South Cambs District Council

South Cambs District Council

A COUNCIL is considering transferring its homes to a housing association. South Cambridgeshire District Council has said the transfer of the almost 6,000 properties is one option currently under discussion. It will be considering, too, continuing to pay

A COUNCIL is considering transferring its homes to a housing association.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has said the transfer of the almost 6,000 properties is one option currently under discussion.

It will be considering, too, continuing to pay for council homes through its budget but has warned that this could see a reduction in expenditure on improvements and in housing services.

Councillor Simon Edwards, portfolio holder for housing, said: "The council has no choice but to look at the future of its council housing.

"We do not have the money we need to continue to provide the services that our tenants expect and deserve," he said.

Cllr Edwards said Government rules on housing finance are causing problems.

He said 50 pence in every pound paid in rent and £750 of every £1,000 received from the sale of council properties was going to the Government.

"We have a duty to explore what each of the possible futures could offer with the involvement of the residents of our council homes," said Cllr Edwards.

The council decided two years ago to keep its housing stock instead of transferring properties to a housing association.

Financial indications now revealed that annual spending on council housing will shortly exceed income.

The alternatives being discussed would see the council continue to keep its housing stock but reduce expenditure on it housing service, or transfer "ownership" to a not-for-profit registered social landlord.

The council has sent out a questionnaire to all its tenants raising the plight of the future of council homes.

It hopes to set-up tenant participation groups which would look at the issue in their own particular area and a housing futures working group which will take a broad look at the issue.

The council adds that work on the project will be carried out over a six month period.

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