Timely warning for tenants
PUBLISHED: 08:41 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:57 11 May 2010
Recent reports in the media concerning the precarious state of housing association finances should serve as a timely warning to tenants of South Cambs District Council as the council wish to sell their housing stock to just such an organisation. Accordin
Recent reports in the media concerning the precarious state of housing association finances should serve as a timely warning to tenants of South Cambs District Council as the council wish to sell their housing stock to just such an organisation.
According to David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, unless the Government urgently provide billions in additional funding, new home building by housing associations could stop completely next year as the banks and other financial institutions upon which they are dependent for 60 per cent of their funding have stopped lending to them.
This, coupled with the drying up of the profits they make from the sale of homes on the open market, is causing severe financial hardship for many.
It would seem reckless in the extreme for South Cambridgeshire District Council to jeopardise tenants' homes and security by continuing with its unpopular policy given the current economic outlook.
It is becoming increasingly unlikely that the proposed housing association (South Cambs Village Homes) could borrow the millions it will need to get off the ground, and even more unlikely that it will be able to deliver on the promises that are being made for new home building when some of the largest associations in the country are facing such an uncertain future.
It would now be prudent for the council to wait for the current review of council housing funding to be completed before progressing any further with this policy especially as housing association funding looks likely to require a similar review in the near future.
It would seem that the district council is at least privately aware of these problems, as they have now delayed the date of the ballot that will have to be held before privatisation could take place.
Tenants were originally told the ballot would take place either at the end of this year or early next year.
We now hear that it won't take place until the early summer!
Could it be the council know if they held the ballot now they would lose decisively?