Tenants be warned

PUBLISHED: 17:42 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

South Cambridgeshire District Council is spending a lot of money in an attempt to persuade its tenants to vote for transfer to a private housing association, which they claim will provide the answer to tenants needs for housing and housing repair. Yet

South Cambridgeshire District Council is spending a lot of money in an attempt to persuade its tenants to vote for "transfer" to a private housing association, which they claim will provide the answer to tenants' needs for housing and housing repair.

Yet we read of the Granta Housing Association's plans to close Wessex Place in Cambridge, which has been home to many old and vulnerable people for years, with staff who have been excellent and caring, because it "runs at a loss".

Tenants should be warned that Housing Associations (HAs) are not benevolent societies, and will expect a cash return to pay their bank loans with interest, and that HAs do not offer tenants the accountability that they currently have with council homes.

HA rents are also higher, and their tenancies much weaker in law. Nationally, many HAs are in financial difficulties. The Rural Housing Trust HA, which owns 3,000 homes, in 350 villages, has just announced that it is making its staff redundant, and is having to wind down its housing and development operations, due to "the prevailing difficult trading conditions".

Tenants would also be advised to talk to people who have had their tenancies transferred to HAs.

The majority who have spoken to me have been subject to higher rents and broken promises from their new landlords.

Chris McCabe

Primrose Walk Little Gransden

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