Stewart to decide on housing transfer

City of Salford Mayor Ian Stewart is to decide on whether to progress plans to change the ownership of 8,500 homes from the council to Salix Homes, as he considers the recommendation to hold a tenant ballot.

An offer document setting out details of the proposal was delivered to tenants at the start of August, giving them a month to reply with any comments.

In a report for Salford City Council's regeneration briefing meeting on Monday, officers summarised the feedback and recommended that the council proceed to a ballot, giving all tenants the opportunity to vote on the proposals.

If Stewart approves the report, the ballot will take place later in the year.

Salix Homes is an arms-length management organisation responsible for the management of 8,500 council homes across central Salford, Rainsough Brow and Beechfarm.

In September 2013 Salix was selected by the council as the chosen landlord to take ownership of the council homes in a proposed stock transfer.

If the transfer goes ahead Salix promised to invest £550m in homes and communities over the next 30 years.

Cllr Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: "The consultation was very successful and we'd like to thank people for putting forward their comments and views on the offer document.

"The council is proposing transferring homes because it cannot afford to invest the money needed to bring homes up to a decent standard and maintain them at that standard for the next 30 years. Salix Homes would be able bring all homes up to a decent standard by 2020 and maintain them."

Barbara Harper, chairman of the Salix Homes customer senate, said: "As a tenant I am confident in Salix Homes' ability to deliver the best housing service possible for the people of Salford and hope that the City Mayor and councillors will now support the recommendations to proceed to ballot.

"I firmly believe that transfer is the best option to secure the future of social housing in Salford for generations to come and I'd urge all tenants not to waste this opportunity and to use their vote when the time comes."

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