The Birmingham Post (p3) reports that under the deal, yet to be formally agreed, the government will wipe out Birmingham's£650m housing debts accrued during the past 50 years.
Conservative member John Lines described the scheme as a 'road to disaster'. He said: 'This spells the end for council housing in Birmingham. We are proposing to wipe out a£650m debt and then incur another one of£600m simply because the government won't give Birmingham the money to improve its council homes.
'The city's council homes have been run in a disastrous way, with crumbling properties, the debt, uncollected rent. The political blame game has now come to an end.'
An official bid for the£650m debt write-off will be submitted to Whitehall this month and the go-ahead is expected in April. A tenant referendum will be held on the new arrangements next autumn and, provided there is a 'yes' vote, the modernisation programme will be launched in April 2001.