The irony of being in the middle of the first Right to Transfer (RTT) process is that I have little time to blog about the first Right to Transfer. Anyway there is much to update on where we have got to.
Following the vote by the members of the EMB to pursue transfer to an existing Registered Provider at their EGM, all tenants were consulted to gather their views. The RTT regulations require the tenant group to confirm that there is no groundswell of opposition to the proposal. In Bushbury Hill there certainly appears to be no such majority against the suggestion – in fact no tenants said they were opposed. This comes as little surprise to me; we’ve been talking to tenants about exploring the benefits of transfer for the last 10 years and as far as I can tell, the mood is very much “Get on with it”.
So we have got on with it. On Friday 7th March 2014 Bushbury Hill EMB became the first tenant group to provide a Feasibility Study Statement under the RTT regulations. This provided the Council with our assessment that tenant led stock transfer is financially possible and advantageous to the tenants. The Council now has 28 days to accept or reject the Feasibility Study Statement as valid under the regulations or to go to the Secretary of State for determination against the RTT proposal.
Time is of the essence so while we wait for the response we have started the process of choosing a partner housing association. The tenants overwhelmingly support the EMB’s management of the estate, so whoever is chosen must guarantee the long term continuity of tenant control in Bushbury Hill. They also need to deliver the capital investment that tenants want and deserve. There are risks in everything, but the Board have approached potential partners that they believe can offer a good fit in terms of reputation, ethos and investment. The outcome of this process should be known later in March.