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SALFORD COUNCIL SALIX HOMES TRANSFER BALLOT APPROVED
 

Star date: 9th May 2013

SALIX HOMES RESIDENTS APPROVE BALLOT ON TRANSFER OF THEIR HOMES

A `test of opinion' on the transfer of residents' homes away from Salford Council's Salix Homes to a housing association not controlled by Salford Council has resulted in a move to a formal ballot on the issue.

Just 2,500 tenants took part in the survey out of an estimated 20,000 tenants, with opinions on any eventual transfer far from conclusive - despite the spin Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, is putting on the findings.

Full details here…


Stand Up For Salford
click image to enlarge

Next year, Salford Council is set to formally ballot Salix Homes residents on the transfer of their homes away from Salford Council's Salix Homes to a housing association not controlled by Salford Council, believed by many to be City West. The process is to cost around £1million (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

A `test of opinion' by Salix Homes on the transfer resulted in almost 2,500 residents, out of an estimated 20,000 residents, taking part – with the findings far from conclusive.

Of those who responded, 48.1% said they would be in favour of the transfer of their homes, while 27.6% said they were opposed and 20.1% didn't know either way. 4.2% didn't give an answer.

While almost 48% of those residents who took part were opposed to the transfer or hadn't made up their minds, Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart stated "Now that residents have spoken so clearly, we can look at moving to the next stage and begin drawing up transfer proposals.

"They clearly want their homes to continue to be improved" he added "and that can only happen by transferring to a Registered Provider."

Residents who are opposed to the transfer are concerned that there will virtually no public accountability or control over their homes if a private company takes over.

The issue has come to a head recently surrounding the Bedroom Tax, where Salford Council can only `ask' housing associations in the city like City West and Contour Homes to reclassify homes, or not to evict those who can't afford to pay the Tax. The Council has no control over the outcome.

Salford City UNISON has now also pledged to oppose any transfer. After run-ins with Assistant Mayor for Housing, Gena Merrett, over getting information on any transfer (see previous Salford Star article – click here), UNISON branch secretary, Steven North, wrote in the union magazine, Stand Up For Salford, this month that the report he received on the transfer process "contained no business plans, no rent projections and no justification for the pretty bold assumption that the Government would probably write off all Housing Revenue Account Debt owed by the Council if the stock were transferred."

The Council report concluded that "If transfer is considered to be the only viable option, then it is imperative that a positive ballot result is achieved, otherwise all of the costs leading up to a ballot [£1million] will be wasted, and cuts will still need to be made."

This implies that a financial gun will be pointed to the heads of residents when the eventual formal transfer ballot happens next year. Or, as Steven North added, "In other words, it needs to be presented to customers as the only option, as the cost of a genuinely democratic outcome could be too high. This worried us all a bit considering that the relevant statutory guidance on stock transfers states…

`Tenants need to understand why the local authority is proposing to transfer their housing, but should not feel that the main purpose of the consultation document is to sell the transfer; rather, it should give neutral information. A balanced and informative approach is needed, which provides brief information on all the options that have been considered.'"

But it looks like the `only option is transfer' process has already started with City Mayor, Ian Stewart, proclaiming that residents "can only" have their homes improved "by transferring to a Registered Provider"…

When the eventual ballot comes, all residents and unions want is an even playing field… unlike the last ballot that took place in Salford in 2007, when homes were transferred to City West (see here)


* see also previous Salford Star article for City West salaries and surplus – Salford Housing Fat Cats – click here

wrote
at 17:01:10 on 02 June 2013
@ paperman, It's no business of yours, but I happen not to live in social housing. From what you say though I assume that only people not claiming benefits have the right to a voice and probably a vote.
 
George the wallpaper man wrote
at 07:33:30 on 02 June 2013
@Bernard, you must feel very guilty living in social housing sponging of the taxpayer with subsidized accommodation. Instead of constantly coming on here slagging off Salford council for wasting taxpayers cash why don't you save the taxpayer some cash and move out of your social housing.
 
Mr. Concerned wrote
at 07:00:29 on 01 June 2013
Dear Mr. Brodie, of Vertical Villiages, you can throw as many facts and figures, as you want, concerning the housing stock transfer, however the only facts the tenants need to know about the housing transfer are, loss of rights surrounding stable council tenancies, increases in rent, and poor relocation packages, if an estate is demolished. See Mr. Chakotai's statements for more details.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 07:00:01 on 01 June 2013
@ CMax reinforces my campaign for Salford Council to gift all homes to tenants. It will take away Council costs of repairs. It gives opportunity for the third sector to sell their management skills and will give the home owners an equity to borrow thousands against the final sale of their home, money that can be spend in their local shops. Otherwise under Council control we stay as we are with council over-burdening costs.
 
Kev the red wrote
at 06:58:44 on 01 June 2013
"C Marx wrote" bang on could not have said it better myself. about fooking time things in Salford were brougtin line. I am payin £480 pm to an abosolute arsehole like you say and all I get in return is "fuck off if u don't like it I will get someone else like a pole in" these basterds need regulating where the council check every house ev ery year and if it no good then get em to sort it ir no licence. my rent getin payed by housing benefit because I am strggling but why should I live in shit just 4 some some dick 2 av a nice house. I pay £480 for what?????????????????
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 06:56:11 on 01 June 2013
@ C Marx, before going on about thickos learn to spell you cretin.
 
C Marx wrote
at 06:20:13 on 31 May 2013
Bring it on baby I really hope this transfer goes threw, maybe then people living in social housing will start paying NORMAL rents like the rest of us. I have heard many thickos over the 3 last months saying things like "yeah but what's happened to all the rent we have paid over the years eh", I will tell you now, the rent you pay does not cover the maintenance of your home that's why you can't get repairs done, there is NO money because for years you have been paying ALOT LESS than you should have been. No private landland rents are anywhere near social rents, ask yourself WHY? it's not just about profit. I know of several proper arsehole (bodge it, plaster over it) landlands who are charging 3x social rent but they are not making a bean out of the properties they rent and all they hope is that long term they will get a return, they see them as long term investments. Also can I just add that social housing is for those in need of a lift up, not those in search of the cheapest rent, of all the people I know in social housing about 60% work and should be paying more than they do, but then again who am I to stand in the way of them pissing it up the wall (literaly).
 
Paul Brodie wrote
at 11:16:36 on 18 May 2013
People should look at the real figures...... http://www.verticalvillages.co.uk/index.php?bShow=17&cat=1
 
peter mcgee wrote
at 13:04:08 on 16 May 2013
I LOVE SALIX HOMES
 
Prisoner Irlam wrote
at 08:05:05 on 11 May 2013
Remember it was a Nu Labour,Tory lite Salford council that privatised social housing , your a number they Don't give a toss about the working man , dont see them bragging about that in there Routine propaganda rags
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 21:09:12 on 09 May 2013
My fear here is that the change will make it easier to remove people into a smaller property even where their family home has a long term right to where they live now. I expect our Council to ensure each person has a concrete assurance that their existing rights will not be eroded. I am alarmed our older residents especially will find they get moved on like pawns on a chess board at the will of elected Councillors.
 
A tenant wrote
at 20:29:42 on 09 May 2013
I work in Housing Benefit and Housing Associations charge higher rents than councils and do seek eviction for small amounts of rent arrears. I took part in the opinion survey and the questions were leading you to say Yes, not neutral at all!
 
Confused Con wrote
at 20:29:11 on 09 May 2013
I don't understand why they can't just transfer the homes of those that want it, leaving those that don't with Salix. Not all houses on council estates are owned by Salix some are private, so what would be the difference?
 
Doomed wrote
at 20:29:00 on 09 May 2013
The bent bastards will just say transfer and you get a new kitchen, bathroom, roof, etc, etc. Don't transfer and you get bugger all, so all those tenants who don't think their rent will go up because they are gullable will vote yes, those who get it payed won't give a toss but will welcome the new kitchen. All Salix tenants are doomed
 
chris taylor wrote
at 16:25:04 on 09 May 2013
Another excuse to spend and waste vast amounts of other people's money. Those that pay will end up paying more and those that don't receive benefits will find it harder to justify getting a job and paying rent. No doubt if the vote was confined to those that currently pay the decision would be anastounding NO
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 16:24:57 on 09 May 2013
Tahir Chokotai is spot on and quite right to warn Salix tenants of what might happen if the stock is transferred. The bedroom tax creates a whole new ball game for tenants as everyone knows that many tenants will simply be unable to pay it. We at Salford against Cuts have heard dozens of horror stories about people on benefits of £70 who are having to find £10 or £20 or even £30 a week to cover the loss of housing benefit. Many more tenants are likely therefore to fall into arrears and are at risk of eviction if they lose their secure tenancy. From the voting figures there are many tenants who are wary and suspicious of this change - they are right to be.
 
Do They Care? wrote
at 16:24:01 on 09 May 2013
Does this mean that we was right all along, that SALIX are Shite at what they are doing and therefore need to pass on the problem.
 
Tahir Chakotai wrote
at 10:40:45 on 09 May 2013
I would like to clarify, the disadvantages, of changing over tenancy, to a Housing Association. The first problem of changing over to a private Housing Association is the loss of secure tenure. Council tenants, at this moment in time, do not have to worry if they are a few months late with the rent. As they can always make an agreement with their A.L.M.O., to pay the arrears off, bit by bit. However most Housing Associations start eviction proceedings, after three weeks of arrears, in rent. The next problem affects working tenants. If a Housing Association makes improvements to your property, then that investment must pay for itself. The only way for them to recover this money, is to charge more rent. Then we come to the greatest problem which is disrepair leading to demolition. The council recently, has demolished a great deal of social housing because it was beyond reasonable refurbishment. At this moment in time, tenants are entitled to a Relocation Grant of up to £6,000, and an offer for alternative accommodation. However a Housing Association are not obligated to do this, therefore, we could see large scale homelessness within Salford rise drastically. So to sum it all up, signing over to a Housing Association may lead to an insecure tenure, a rise in rent, and loss of tenancy rights, if your property were to be demolished. So please, before you vote, get all the facts. Remember, what is good for one Council Estate, may not be good for another.
 
John Slater wrote
at 10:40:30 on 09 May 2013
Hi All. Can I ask, can salix not apply to be a registered provider, then that way they could apply for funding, for those residents that don't want to change this would be the best possible outcome, I speak for myself when I say this,but I have no qualms with salix. Do,s anybody else feel the same.
 
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