Get involved plea over future of council homes

Get involved: Plea over future of council homes in Sheffield.

Get involved: Plea over future of council homes in Sheffield.

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A THOUSAND tenants will help decide how Sheffield housing should be run in the future, as returning control of their homes to the city council looks set to go ahead.

Exactly 1,000 people have so far signed up to have their say on Sheffield Council’s expected management of 42,000 houses from the year 2014. The change is subject to formal approval tomorrow.

A large majority of tenants voted in favour of a return to council management of estates rather than continuing the current arrangement where Sheffield Homes runs properties.

Now the authority is urging more people to get involved in commenting on future services.

Meetings and focus groups over the next two years will give tenants the chance to raise any concerns, say what matters they want to be consulted on and form a representatives’ group.

Jacqueline Curtis, a Hackenthorpe tenant for 38 years, was the 1,000th person to volunteer.

She said: “I believe the transfer back into council management is significant for all tenants and leaseholders.

“I think it’s important for all of us to have a say in how our homes are to be managed in the future.”

Last month The Star reported 23,349 tenants had voted to return control of homes to the council in a controversial ballot.

Just 3,116 voted to retain the current situation, where arms-length management organisation Sheffield Homes is paid an annual fee to run properties.

Tomorrow the ballot result is recommended for approval at the council’s cabinet. Sheffield Homes has a contract to continue its role until 2014.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “The tenants gave a strong message that they want the council to manage their homes in the future.

“This was a big decision for the city and will determine how we shape council housing in the future.

“It is important as many tenants as possible get involved in the decision-making around how future services are to be delivered.

“Reaching the 1,000th volunteer in this process is a significant milestone and we hope many more will come forward to have a say in how their homes are to be run from April 2014.”

To sign up to the consultation visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/planningthefuture

n North East Derbyshire residents are being asked to help shape future housing priorities in a survey. Visit www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/housing-survey by March 30.

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