Salix ‘recommended’ for Salford housing transfer

Simon Donohue

Salix Homes has been recommended as the preferred bidder to take on ownership of the last remaining 8,200 council houses in Salford.

City mayor Cllr Ian Stewart is due to consider the proposal on September 5.

The proposed stock transfer would then be decided by a public ballot.

A panel including tenants made the preferred bidder recommendation after hearing competitive bids from Salix Homes, City West Housing Trust and Together Housing Group. Great Places Housing Group declined to bid.

Salix say they will spend £30m on improvements to houses in the first 12 months after a transfer if residents vote 'yes' in the ballot, with further investment over the next 30 years.

The panel found that Salford-based Salix Homes offered "best value for money" and demonstrated a clear plan for improving services, enhanced customer involvement and new performance standards.

Salix Homes currently manages the properties on behalf of Salford City Council. The council says the homes will need £700m worth of investment and repairs over the next 30 years and that it cannot borrow the money required to bring them up to modern standards.

Salford's assistant mayor for housing & environment, Cllr Gena Merrett, said: "Salix Homes' bid offered the best value for money for residents and the council.

"The panel was satisfied that Salix Homes, as a registered provider, could provide continued investment up to the standard needed, an improvement on services for residents, safer neighbourhoods and an increased customer involvement in the running of their homes.

"Salix also gave clear commitments that there would be further opportunities for customers to be involved in running the organisation in the future, together with new employment and training opportunities for local residents, and that they would be able to attract more investment in the 8,200 properties from outside sources.

"I'm looking forward to the ballot and to seeing a huge wave of investment in Salix homes across Salford."

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