Tenants get details of transfer bid

PUBLISHED: 19:11 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

South Cambridgeshire District Council has met to discuss the options available to tenants if they vote in favour of housing transfer proposals. The Crow reported last week how a campaign group, South Cambs Against Transfer (SCAT) was urging the council to

South Cambridgeshire District Council has met to discuss the options available to tenants if they vote in favour of housing transfer proposals.

The Crow reported last week how a campaign group, South Cambs Against Transfer (SCAT) was urging the council to scrap its plans to transfer council housing stock to a private company, South Cambridgeshire Village Homes.

But the council has put together a formal consultation document, setting out promises to tenants, should the transfer go ahead.

The document says the company would budget for:

A £55million programme of major works and improvements

New or upgraded central heating for around 1,450 homes

New kitchens for around 1,450 homes New bathrooms for around 800 homes

Walk-in showers for around 600 homes

Double glazed window upgrades for around 970 homes

Among other improvements, tenants could expect to see renewable energy systems fitted to about 300 homes, faster target repair times, a dedicated officer to tackle anti-social behaviour, and more opportunities for tenants to be involved in decision making.

The offer document also makes a commitment to enable the development of new affordable homes.

SCDC is committing at least £2million to a budget for South Cambridgeshire Village Homes, to be used alongside other resources, such as housing land that the council would transfer with the homes.

This is to be used to help with further funding from other groups, such as the Homes and Communities Agency.

Councillor Simon Edwards, SCDC's portfolio holder for housing, said: "This is an exciting time as it provides a real opportunity for tenants to see in detail exactly what transfer would deliver.

"Once agreed, the document would be binding on South Cambridgeshire Village Homes and would be legally enforceable should transfer go ahead."

The formal consultation process includes the following stages:

Consultation on the proposed transfer offer

Consideration of comments

Notification of any changes to the proposed transfer offer

Confidential postal ballot

Councillor Edwards said: "I'm very proud of the work that has gone into developing this comprehensive offer.

"I hope our tenants take the time to look at it in detail once it arrives with them.

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