Tenants in Wyre Forest, Worcestershire, will, from next week, have a greater say in how their homes are managed and repaired.
Under the Government's Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) programme more than 6000 homes will next week transfer to Wyre Forest Community Housing, a new local housing company set up specifically totake on Wyre Forest District Council's housing stock. One third of the Company's Management Board will be made up of tenants.
Mr Raynsford said that with local housing companies now an established part of the social housing sector, tenants are already benefiting from the extra say that they now have in the management of their homes.
The application from Wyre Forest District Council to transfer its stock follows a ballot in which 66 per cent of tenants voted, of whom 80 per cent supported the transfer. Wyre Forest Community Housing has agreed to pay the Council #40.95 million to acquire the stock.
Today's announcement brings the number of LSVTs to 123, involving more than 400,000 homes. These transfers have raised over£6 billion in private finance, to purchase and invest in the housing stock.
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.