today by housing minister Lord Falconer. Local authorities will now
be given two years in which to complete the housing transfer process,
instead of the current one year.
This means more time to consult and involve tenants in decisions
about their housing services before and after transfer.
Lord Falconer said:
'Our vision is for better housing services and more tenant
involvement following transfer. Tenants will have more say in running
their services, with tenants making up one third of decision-makers
on the board. Because registered social landlords are independent
there is a greater chance for a more local focus and tenant
The government announcement means new arrangements will relieve
pressure on local authorities and new landlords to complete housing
transfers to registered social landlords (RSL) within the financial
year of the programme.
Transfers are complex and time-consuming, involving a range of
private sector organisations, all of whom offer services to the local
authority and new landlord. Lord Falconer, said the
new arrangements were timely as transfers are now taking place in
larger urban authorities.
'The overall aim of the government's housing policy is to ensure
everyone has the opportunity of a decent home by 2010. Housing
transfer therefore offers an excellent opportunity for achieving
'Tenants benefit from improved maintenance and future repairs to
their homes. Increased investment from private sources means repairs
can be carried out more quickly than if the properties had remained
in local authority ownership. Over time rents will be similar to
local authority rents, due to the Government's policy of bringing
greater fairness and cohesion to the structure of social rents.'
Housing transfers are voluntary, taking place only if tenants are in
favour. The consent of the Secretary of State is also required, which
will only be granted if a majority of tenants wish the transfer to
1. Full details can be found here.
2. The Order will make one change to the administration of the
department's Annual Housing Transfer Programme:
Allowing local authorities up to two financial years in which to
complete a housing transfer.
3. The Regulatory Reform Act replaced the much more limited power
under which Deregulation Orders were made with a powerful tool to
facilitate regulatory reform on 5 April 2001. It enables ministers to
use orders to remove or reduce burdens contained in legislation, to
correct inconsistencies and anomalies, and, in certain strictly
defined circumstances, apply new burdens. It is an alternative
legislative route capable of large-scale reform of entire regulatory
regimes. The Act also gives ministers the power to set out a code of
good enforcement practice. Full details of the Regulatory Reform
order-making process and its potential uses can be found here.
4. Where such a transfer involves more than 499 dwellings over a
five-year period, to the same landlord, it requires a place on the
annual housing transfer programme.