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GREATER SAY FOR TENANTS THANKS TO HOUSING TRANSFERS

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22 March 2000 ...
22 March 2000

Tenants in Elmbridge, Surrey and Test Valley, Hampshire are to have a

greater say in how their homes are managed from next week, Housing

Minister Nick Raynsford announced today.

Under the Government's Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT)

programme, around 10,000 homes are to transfer to two new local

housing companies: over 4,500 properties in Elmbridge will transfer

to Elmbridge Housing Trust and almost 5,500 properties in Test Valley

will transfer to Testway Housing Ltd.

Mr Raynsford said that tenants who had already transferred to local

housing companies were benefiting from having more say in the

management of their homes and this opportunity was now being given to

Elmbridge and Test Valley tenants.

'Tenants in both areas will also benefit from an accelerated

programme of repairs and improvements, whilst having a guarantee that

their rent will not go up by more than 1 per cent above the rate of

inflation for the next five years. By working together, the councils,

the housing companies and tenants now have an excellent opportunity

to provide real improvements to tenants' living conditions.'

The application from Elmbridge council to transfer its stock came

after a ballot in which 73 per cent of tenants voted, 66 per cent of

whom supported the transfer. Elmbridge Housing Trust has agreed to

pay #56 million for the stock.

The application from Test Valley council came after a ballot in which

73 per cent of tenants voted, 69 per cent of whom supported the

transfer. Testway Housing has agreed to pay just under #80 million

for the stock.

Both councils will invest a substantial part of the receipt from the

sale of the housing to provide additional social housing units.

Today's announcement brings the number of LSVTs to 122, involving

more than 417,000 homes. These transfers have raised over #6 billion

in private finance, to purchase and invest in the housing stock.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Provision to set up Local Housing Companies (LHCs) appears under the

Housing Act 1996. LHCs allow greater local authority and tenant

participation than other Registered Social Landlords such as housing

associations.

Under the Leasehold reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 a

local authority proposing a transfer of more than 499 dwellings must

first obtain a place on an annual programme approved by the Secretary

of State. Councils must then obtain the consent of the Secretary of

State under the Housing Act 1985 for each transfer after it has

formally consulted its tenants.

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3049; out of hours 020 7944 5925/5945

Public Enquiries Unit: 020 7944 3333; Email: press@detr.gov.uk

Press Notices available via DETR website: www.detr.gov.uk

221834 03

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