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FOR AND AGAINST HOUSING TRANSFERS

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Leominster DC and Taff-Ely BC tenants have voted to transfer their housing stock to housing associations, while two...
Leominster DC and Taff-Ely BC tenants have voted to transfer their housing stock to housing associations, while two London boroughs have rejected transfers.

Around 87% of Leominster tenants who voted in the ballot said yes to transfer. The 1,873 homes will now be taken over by Leominster Marches Housing Association.

'Restrictions on the council have been pushing up rents dramatically, stopping us carrying out as many repairs as we would have liked and preventing us building new homes', said chief executive Geoff Chilton.The council hopes to complete the transfer next spring.

In Taff-Ely, tenants on the Glyntaff estate near Pontypridd voted to transfer to Newydd Housing Association. They are only the third group of tenants to use the tenants' choice rules in the Housing Act 1988 which allow them to initiate a ballot.

The transfer will entail a £21 million refurbishment programme for the 500 homes involving the Welsh Office, the council and the private sector.

Greenwich LBC has rejected a suggestion from its district auditor to transfer some of its 34,000 homes to help pay for the upkeep of the remainder.

'We talked to [the tenants] in 1989. They made it very clear to us they did not want us to go down that road. We've got no evidence whatsoever to suggest anyone has changed their minds', said housing chair Pete Challis.

Last week Barnet LBC dropped transfer plans for its 17,000 homes after consultants advised against it. Last year the council decided to examine the benefits of a transfer but has been put off by recent government changes to the transfer rules. These included limiting the number of dwellings in one transfer to around 5,000.

South Ribble BC is to ballot its tenants at the end of October on transferring its 3,600 homes to the New Progress Housing Association, the council agreed last week.

Wychavon DC is to ballot its 10,000 tenants in October and November on transferring to two new housing associations.

l Berwickshire DC could become the first Scottish council to transfer all its housing to an association. Last week it decided to consult tenants on the idea.

The council wants to set up an association to take over the 2,171 houses. If it went ahead the properties would change hands in 1994.

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