Council to control housing stock again

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COUNCIL tenants today welcomed the news their homes will be managed by Sheffield Council again - as long as their rent doesn’t go up and they are still given the option to buy their properties.

Residents living on the Parson Cross estate told The Star they didn’t have strong feelings about who managed the city’s council stock, but thought there would probably be more accountability if management of council properties is taken back in-house.

Natalie Clitheroe, aged 27, of Wheata Road, said: “I’ve lived in this house six years and I am happy with how things have been but it sounds like it’s quite a good idea for the council to manage the houses.

“I don’t understand why they would pay somebody else to do their job. It’s good if it saves money.”

Natalie, who lives with her daughter Norrel, aged four, and son Malique, nine, said: “I had some work done under the Decent Homes scheme - a new kitchen, windows and bathroom and the standard wasn’t bad.

“I’ve done some work on the house myself, so as long as they don’t take away the Right to Buy scheme then I’m happy the council is taking over.”

She added: “The rent is reasonable, it’s cheaper than renting privately, so as long as it doesn’t go up it’s okay.”

Lynette Hegarty, a 38-year-old mum-of-four, from Lytton Drive, said: “I bought my house under the Right to Buy scheme so I’m not a council tenant but my mother is.

“She is disabled and lives in a council bungalow and it’s a nightmare trying to get anything done.

“I think it’s a good idea that the council is responsible for managing the houses.

“It makes them more accountable if people want to get things done and tenants can contact their local councillors.”

Lynette, whose children are aged 13, nine, six and three, added: “I don’t think most people will care who manages their homes as long as the rent doesn’t go up.”

Andrew Clarke, 54, of Knutton Rise, agreed: “I’m not bothered as long as the rent doesn’t go up.”

And Abbey Bennett, of Wheata Road, said: “I’m not that fussed who manages the properties.”

But the mum-of-two, who lives at the property with her partner and children aged five and two, added: “I’ve lived here for four years and have had Decent Homes work done - they made a right mess and didn’t clear it up.

“I’m not sure if the council would do a better job.”

Green Party leader on Sheffield Council, Coun Jiillian Creasy, said: “This is a good turnout and a clear vote in favour of bringing council housing back under direct council control. We hope that any savings will be for the core activities of keeping homes and estates in good repair and supporting tenants and residents and that frontline jobs are protected.”