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Council homes transferplan to take a step forward
4:54pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
A COUNCIL is looking to give up ownership of more than 18,000 homes.
Durham County Council still owns houses, flats and bungalows in three areas of the county, despite new social landlords taking over homes in other parts.
The council is concerned that it cannot access the money needed to maintain the stock and that its tenants are losing out to people whose landlord is a not-for-profit company.
Next week ( Wednesday, October 30) the Labour-run council’s cabinet will be asked to seek Government approval for a tenant ballot on the transfer.
The organisations that currently manage the 18,600 homes for the council , Durham City Homes, East Durham Homes and Dale and Valley Homes, would become the owner of the stock.
It is envisaged that the changeover could be completed by 2015.
The cabinet will be asked to consider forming a single management organisation if the stock transfer fails.
Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, cabinet member for housing, said: “We believe that the transfer of our homes is a good deal for both the tenants and their communities.
“ In the current financial climate, and working under Government regulations, the council is unable to meet the level of investment required over the next ten years.
“ Therefore, to maintain and improve the housing, we must consider transferring ownership of our homes. It is only right that the tenants themselves will decide whether the transfer happens through a ballot planned for next year. “The increased resources available to the new organisation will also have a knock-on effect, boosting the whole economy of the county and creating jobs.”