Council takes back its houses

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ROTHERHAM Council is to take its housing stock back in-house - after 90 per cent of tenants voted for the move.

Following what the authority said was “extensive” consultation with tenants and leaseholders, it has decided to wind up management company 2010 Rotherham and bring the 21,000 properties back under its direct control.

The decision was made by the council’s cabinet after the Decent Homes modernisation programme was completed at all properties in the town, at a cost of £218 million.

Return to in-house control of council housing means significant efficiencies in administration, management and other back-office costs of up to £1 million a year, the council said.

In accordance with the 1985 Housing Act the authority had to consult extensively with tenants before making any final decision. Questionnaires, roadshows, a telephone hotline and a phone poll of a random sample of 15 per cent of tenants and leaseholders all helped to gauge opinion.

Overall 7,590 questionnaires were completed - a return of 36 per cent - and well over 90 per cent expressed a preference to see the services return to the direct management of the authority.

Coun Jahangir Akhtar, cabinet member for housing, said: “This will be the best way forward for our tenants. By making this move we can make significant savings from administration, management and other back-office functions.

“These savings can then be transferred to frontline housing services - to the direct benefit of our tenants and leaseholders.”

Consultation is starting on the future of Sheffield’s council housing, with Sheffield Homes’ contract to manage the city’s 42,000 properties expiring in 2014.