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SCOTS COUNCILS URGED TO CONSIDER TRANSFERRING HOUSING STOCK

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Local authorities should be encouraged to consider the benefits to their tenants of transferring housing stock, Sco...
Local authorities should be encouraged to consider the benefits to their tenants of transferring housing stock, Scottish housing minister Raymond Robertson said today.

Addressing a housing conference in Edinburgh organised by Waverley Housing Management Ltd Mr Robertson said:

'One of the main benefits of stock transfer is increased private sector investment in social rented housing stock. A new landlord will be able to borrow privately, freed from the constraints of public expenditure control, and this increases the likelihood of building new homes to meet local needs.

'Stock transfer a repair services and therefore better housing stock. The increase in rent levels for transferred tenants is guaranteed for the first years of the new landlord's existence. There is also scope for greater tenant involvement in housing management through tenant representatives being co-opted onto the new landlords' management committees.

'Local government re-organisation provides local authorities with an opportunity to re-assess their role in relation to housing. They do not have to be landlords with day-to-day responsibility for managing housing stock. By pursuing a policy of stock transfers a challenging new beginning awaits them as housing enablers.

'In August, Berwickshire DC led the way by transferring its entire housing stock to Berwickshire Housing Association Ltd, with the support of tenants. Now energy efficient family homes are being built in an area which has not seen local authority activity for the past 20 years.

'I would urge all local authorities to consider the benefits to them and to their tenants of following that lead.'

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