Housing transfer manual 2015/16

100 million) for the next transfer programme and the publication of the stock transfer manual for 2015/16.  Their press release takes an interesting angle, promoting it as an opportunity for tenant empowerment through the Right to Transfer (RTT).  The first Para reads:

Council tenants wanting more influence and control over their homes will have access to a share of £100 million.

Council tenants wanting more influence and control over their homes will have access to a share of £100 million to do just that, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins announced today (14 July 2014).

Mr Hopkins said the fund will help unlock further investment in maintaining and building social homes across the country.

Since November 2013, tenants living in council housing have had a right to request that the management of their homes be transferred to a housing association – and that the council cooperate in that process.

From today, tenant groups wanting to exercise this Right to Transfer will be able to bid for a share of this £100 million fund to help that process, with the money becoming available from next year.

The £100 million fund is also available for councils wishing to transfer their stock, with proposals that provide good value for money and have the support of residents.

In my view it is a good thing that the RTT is being promoted in this way and crucially that the stock transfer programme remains open for business with funding available to support it.  I led a workshop on RTT at the recent National Federation of TMOs (NFTMO) and it was full, so there is definitely the appetite for RTT within the TMO world.

Whilst I welcome the push behind RTT there is no prospect of TMOs making much of a dent in £100 million, even if debt relief is needed.  So I can only assume that the Government also expects some local authorities to be making applications for this round.

Speaking of applications, the 2015/16 transfer manual now includes two versions of the application for transfer (Annex A) to be submitted to HCA as referred to in my previous post.  This recognises that it makes no sense for applications for tenant led transfers to come from the local authority.

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3 thoughts on “Housing transfer manual 2015/16

  1. Bob

    Awful policy. Why can they write debt off as long as the stock is privatised but not do the same for councils. ? Housing associations are private companies in law and practice and rents will be higher eventually

    Reply
  2. Bob

    Why is there not a right to transfer back to a council landlord? Its extremely one sided and totally geared towards privatisation. Housing associations are not as democratically controlled as council landlords. Also council housing is a public asset owned by the whole of the community so surely everyone in the district who pays council tax should have a say in whether its flogged off!

    Reply
  3. Bill Heywood Post author

    Bob, thanks for the comments. What qualifies the average council tax payer who doesn’t and probably never has lived in a council house to determine who is the best landlord for those who actually are? The majority of the population have been happy for decades to stand by whilst the “democratically controlled” landlords provided shocking service and allowed tenants to live in homes which were not even at the very basic “decent homes” standard. Accountability and public ownership is not much use to a tenant living without central heating, a 20 year old kitchen, single glazing and outside toilet – all of which some council landlords have presided over.

    The point of the Right to Transfer is that is puts the power where it ought to be, in the hands of the people who actually know what is best for them and their communities – the tenants.

    Housing transfers do ensure that the homes remain as social housing and still fulfil the role they were built for. Furthermore the public is paid for the asset, so there is no loss to the public purse. In Bushbury Hill there is no debt write-off, so that is not an issue. For transfers where write off is required, the Treasury requires a stringent business case to demonstrate that the transfer will lead to economic benefits which will offset the cost of the write off. And remember that without write off the debt would still have to be paid, the burden is not greater, just brought forward.

    Reply

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