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.
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
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.
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