AUG 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Final Housing Transfer Hurdle Cleared
council houses will be transferred to a private company, paving
the way for £240m of repairs.
council last night voted to allow the transfer of the 20,000 homes
to the Whitefriars Housing Group next month.
government has agreed to pay off the “over-hanging debt”,
which the council still owed on the houses for building them.
state of repair of many of the houses has got so bad that it would
cost more to repair them than they are worth.
meant that a private firm would be reluctant to take the houses
on, and the council would still have to worry about paying back
the terms of the agreement, tenants, councillors and independent
people will form a board to monitor the new group’s activities.
increases are to be pegged at inflation plus one per cent for five
years. Existing tenants will also have this guarantee for a
further 25 years.
Dave Nellist (Socialist, St Michael’s) warned that new tenants
did not seem to be protected in this way.
he said with housing turnover running at about 10 per cent of
tenants a year, this meant that within a few years the majority
could be exposed to massive rent increases.
member Cllr George Duggins, introducing the motion, said Coventry
had made a major breakthrough in securing the agreement with
government, as the DETR will now pay the money straight to the
Public Works Loans Board.
councils facing this situation will have Coventry to thank for
added that maintenance contracts had initially been awarded to
Coventry Contract Services, and their future would rely on
tenants’ satisfaction with the work.
Tim Sawdon (Conservative, Wainbody) said the Conservative were
supporting the transfer, as it was a primarily Tory policy.
decision should have been taken years. We know why it was not.
The decision was not taken in the hope that the Labour
government would stump up the cash to keep the houses in
Peter Lacy, who will be the Whitefriars chairman, said:
night’s vote is another major step forward on what has been a
long journey towards transfer.
it was vital that councillors voted for approval, we acknowledge
that a lot must still happen between now and 18 September for
the transfer to go ahead smoothly and seamlessly.”