Friday, 4 November 2011

Council housing 'test of opinion' - return yours for chance to win £250

Cornwall Council tenants - including several hundred living in Launceston - will shortly be receiving a questionnaire from the authority asking for their formal opinion on the proposal to create a new Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO).

The Council's own booklet setting out the reasons for the change says:

"The government is changing the way council housing is financed from 1 April 2012. The Council will have to buy its way out of the national system and take on a debt in order to keep all the council house rent we receive in Cornwall (self-financing). We think this will be better. We will be able to keep the £6.8 million of your rents we currently give to the government each year, to plan in the long term and make more improvements to council homes.

We are also changing the way we run our services in order to bring down our debt and because of cuts in government funding.

We think the best way to do this is through a single council-owned company that manages all our housing services. This is not just our council homes, but also our other housing services like managing gypsy and traveller sites, the Homechoice housing register, working with private
sector landlords and providing disabled facilities grants.

We worked with your tenants’ forums to look at four different models of providing housing management. They feel a council-owned company is the best way forward for tenants and the Council."

If the move goes ahead, then the basic tenancy rights will not change. Residents will still be council tenants and the council will still set rent levels. But the change will save lots of money which will be able to be spent on home improvements.

Tenants will receive the information and consultation packs shortly and are asked to return the questionnaires by 25th November. All those returned will be entered into a draw to win £250.

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