THOUSANDS of council tenants could be balloted on the future ownership of their homes.

Durham County Council is looking to get rid of the homes it still owns in Durham City, Easington and in Teesdale and Weardale.

Officials want the organisations that currently manage the 22,000 properties for the council to have complete responsibility for them.

The Labour-run authority’s cabinet will be recommended on Wednesday (July 16) to hold a formal poll on the idea.

Following extensive consultation, including newsletters, tenant events and home visits, officials say the transfer is in tenants’ best interests.

Tenants had the chance to make representations to the council on its Offer Document.

Based on comments received, officials say that no significant changes to the offer are required.

Cllr Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The council, Dale and Valley Homes, Durham City Homes and East Durham Homes have used a range of methods to make sure tenants have been kept fully informed throughout the process, including home visits where they spoke to almost 15,500 tenants directly.

“The response to the consultation has been positive and, due to the amount of information provided in a variety of ways, we hope that tenants feel they can make an informed choice on the future of their home.”