This is a letter from a tenant to Swindon Adveriser

I have to comment on the article (Adver, October 4) regarding housing stock transfer. The piece states that SBC is consulting tenants about proposals to set up a not for profit independent housing association to own and manage its 10,500 homes.

This is correct, as a council house tenant I have spoken to the independent consultants at length on this very issue.

Independent they may profess to be, unbiased they cannot. All the information I have been given is heavily loaded in favour of transfer of stock to a housing association. In fact they could not offer one positive alternative for remaining under council management.

How is this a choice? Why are we, as tenants, being asked to vote for it? The council owns the stock, they know the facts and figures, why then are they sugar-coating this process to get us to vote for what is so obviously their preferred outcome of stock transfer.

This isn’t tenant empowerment, its called passing the buck! They are elected to make decisions based on the best outcome for their tenants and housing stock and stand accountable for that decision.

This isn’t a game of financial facts and figures for us. This is about our homes.

Tellingly, Coun Russell Holland is quoted as saying “the HA would offer a five-year guarantee that rents wouldn’t increase”.

Then what? Housing associations are run as a business. Not for profit doesn’t guarantee that the housing stock will gain. In fact, if you look at other authorities where transfers have happened you will see a familiar pattern that, after five years, more money then goes on consultancy fees and managements wages than on housing stock repairs and upgrades, then private companies are ‘encouraged’ to come on board.

Liz Brackenbury

Upper Stratton Swindon

 

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