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Council to give residents vote on transfer of homes to community ownership

Categoriesnews Housingnews

Image captionImage 1: H&F Council Leader Stephen Cowan (centre) with Residents’ Commission on Council Housing chair Rt Hon Keith Hill (left) and independent commissioner Peter Bevington (right) at the report’s launch at Hammersmith Town Hall

At a Cabinet meeting last night (7 December), Hammersmith & Fulham Council voted to back the recommendation of the Independent Residents’ Commission on Council Housing.

The council will now give residents a vote on whether or not to pass the ownership of all of its 17,000 homes to council housing residents by setting up a new housing organisation.

“The Independent Residents’ Housing Commission advised us that homes would be better maintained, better protected with lower rents and charges if we move to a new housing model that gives more power to residents,” said H&F Council Leader Stephen Cowan.

“And we are genuinely trying to do things with people – not to them – so we will now put this to a vote and let the residents decide.”

The Commission’s report was published last month, and indicated that the Council may struggle to raise the money needed to adequately repair and maintain council homes, whereas a new resident-led housing association should be able to secure the investment needed.

However, a transfer will not take place unless a majority of tenants vote in favour of the transfer.
The Residents’ Commission on Council Housing was formed in December 2014. It is an independent group of tenants, leaseholders and housing experts that was asked by the council to:

  • Safeguard council homes and estates for the future
  • Give residents greater local control over their homes
  • Protect tenants’ rights and keep rents and service charges at levels residents can afford, and
  • Fund improvements to homes and housing services.

To read the full report from the Residents’ Commission on Council Housing, visit their website.

Visit this link to read the full Cabinet report.