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END OF HAND-TO-MOUTH EXISTENCE FOR COUNCIL HOMES HERALDED BY CIH

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Four million council homes in Britain could say goodbye to disrepair and a shaky financial future if the recommenda...
Four million council homes in Britain could say goodbye to disrepair and a shaky financial future if the recommendations from a new report, `Council Housing-Financing the Future', out today from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) are taken seriously by government.

Housing and financial experts from CIH and Graham Moody Associates have - for the first time - modelled the financial future of council housing for the whole of Britain. They have examined a full range of options - from transferring council homes, bringing in private money, to keeping council homes under the control of local government.

Seven different options are assessed against value for money, cost to the public purse and non-financial factors such as accountability amongst others. And, what emerges is the need for a more business-like environment to be created for whichever organisation provides council homes in the future. As director of policy for the CIH says:

'Councils can only be business-like and manage their assets properly if they can command the resources to bring their houses up to modern standards. For the first time in two decades there is the prospect of council housing rising above its hand-to-moth existence. At the moment, housing managers are in limbo, waiting for government to choose the way ahead. We hope this latest report will make the choices clearer.'

As we wait for a comprehensive strategy for council housing to emerge from government one fact is already known from evidence in the report: the repair bill for council homes stands at£21-23bn - a fact no government can ignore.

Notes

Financial modelling of the choices facing local councils and government has been conducted by experts from the Chartered Institute of Housing and Graham Moody Associates and published in a report, `Council Housing-Financing the Future' available from CIH Publications on 01203 851752, price£12 plus£1.50 p&p.

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