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Government gives go-ahead for vote on Salford stock transfer

28 May, 2014

Kris Hopkins MP, Minister for Housing, has given Salford City Council the green light to proceed to a ballot of all council tenants over plans to transfer the properties in Central Salford to Salix Homes.

Residents will now be consulted before a ballot in the autumn when they will be able to decide on the future of their homes.

If tenants vote ‘Yes' to transfer, Salix Homes, which already manages the properties on behalf of the council, has promised to invest £75 million on improving people's homes and communities by 2020.

Salford City Council, which currently owns the homes, does not have the money to make the necessary improvements and bring the properties up to modern standards.

Salix Homes is promising that all 8,500 properties will reach the Government's Decent Homes standard by 2020, this includes 4,000 homes getting new kitchens or bathrooms, 2000 homes getting new windows and 3,000 homes getting upgraded heating.

Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment, said: This announcement is fantastic news for tenants and for Salford as a whole and shows that the Government is confident in the council's proposals to transfer its housing stock to Salix Homes and the extra investment that will bring.

Salix Homes has an excellent track record in delivering a first class housing service in Salford. They are in the strongest position to make the necessary investment to the homes and provide the kind of housing service that the people of Salford deserve.

Salix Homes has made a commitment to bring every property up to the Government's Decent Homes standard by 2020, to provide hundreds of new jobs and training opportunities and deliver new, affordable homes in Salford.

This cannot happen unless tenants vote ‘Yes' to transfer.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: Today's deal is great news for Salford's residents, unlocking £75million to invest in bringing their homes up to a high standard. This investment from Salix Homes will mean residents in all 8,500 social homes in Salford will benefit from a range of improvements, whether new kitchens or bathrooms, new windows or better heating.

So I'm pleased to sign this deal with the City Council and write off £65m of their historic housing debt, so they can put the offer to their tenants and so Salix Homes can plan ahead for the investment they have committed to making.

If the transfer goes ahead, Salix Homes would become a stand-alone, not-for-profit Registered Provider.

Tenant Barbara Harper, who is chair of the Customer Senate and lives in Ordsall, said: Tenants now have a very exciting opportunity to guarantee a bright and sustainable future for social housing in Salford for generations to come. I'd urge all tenants not to waste this opportunity and make sure they use their vote. As a tenant, I'm confident in Salix Homes' ability to deliver the best housing service possible. It has already transformed thousands of homes and lives for the better, by improving properties to a standard the people of Salford deserve.