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SALFORD COUNCIL CHOOSES SALIX FOR SOCIAL HOUSING STOCK DUMP
 

Star date: 30th August 2013

SALIX HOMES CHOSEN AS SALFORD COUNCIL'S PREFERRED PROVIDER FOR SOCIAL HOUSING STOCK TRANSFER

Salix Homes has been chosen by Salford Council as the `preferred provider' for the proposed transfer of social housing stock. The option to transfer will go to a ballot of all tenants next year in a process that is costing around £1million, including consultants, publicity etc.

Now a campaign to oppose the transfer is about to begin, particularly from tenants opposed to the Bedroom Tax.

Full details here…


Salix Homes
click image to enlarge

Salix Homes has been chosen by Salford Council as the `preferred provider' in the bid to transfer its social housing stock to an independent company. The final decision on whether to go ahead with the transfer will go to a ballot of all tenants next year.

Due to various factors – including ConDem Government policy, the Pendleton PFI and its own incompetence - Salford Council has stated that it hasn't got the funding to bring its stock of social housing up to the `decent homes standard' (see previous Salford Star article for full information).

Instead, it is proposing to transfer all its stock of social housing to an `independent provider' (except those homes falling under the Pendleton PFI scheme which will transfer to Together Housing).

In a three way bidding contest involving City West, Together Housing and Salix Homes, Salix, which currently manages the houses, scored the highest marks and has been chosen by Salford Council to be its preferred `independent provider'.

The Salford Council report on the decision notes that all of the bids "lack detail in relation to a number of issues and further due diligence and discussions would need to take place to flesh out the proposal".

The costs associated with the transfer, including the £250,000 set aside for consultants, is costing around £1million (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

If the process is anything like the last one, where City West was handed the houses, tenants should expect a barrage of propaganda stating that the Council has no choice but to privatise its social housing, urging them to back its judgement.

This has already begun, with a Salix press release including a quote from Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment… "I'm looking forward to the ballot and hopefully seeing a huge wave of investment in social housing across Salford" she cooed.

However the Salford Star understands that anti Bedroom Tax campaigners and trade unions, worried about affects on members' jobs and conditions, will launch a counter offensive, urging tenants to reject the transfer, or privatisation, of social housing.

For anti Bedroom Tax campaigners this is about accountability – in that Salford Council can only ask Salix Homes (or City West) not to evict victims of the Tax; it has no power over the companies to compel them to comply with its wishes (see here). Indeed, there have been protests by Salford Against The Bedroom Tax at City West's offices against the company's eviction policy, with more planned for housing companies, including Salix Homes (see here).

While Salix Homes has been chosen by Salford Council to be its preferred transfer provider, expect the battle about the transfer itself to begin very shortly…

Sheila Bonham wrote
at 07:46:09 on 18 November 2013
I resent what you said peter tully, she was my mum too, and she did a job what she loved, was you ever there for her? A Big fat NO. I was at the awards night and everyone loved her, I was there for MY MUM. Were was you. Stop trying to blame others, what you feel guilty about. You even asked were all her money went, a son doesn't say that. So Salix Homes Thank you for a Great night in my M8thers name, Maureen Tully R.I.P. Mum.
 
lynn.jacques wrote
at 15:41:17 on 04 October 2013
Whilst i appreciated the fact that City West have improved the houses they took over from Salford Council, we were told that the rent's would not go up but they have gone up every year. I have now been told i have to pay a services charge for the cutting and maintaining of grass verges in my street. I think this is unfair as they are outside of my garden and across the road from where i live they are full of dog muck and tins and plastic bottles.
 
Chris wrote
at 21:09:00 on 02 September 2013
The whole idea here is so that Salix can borrow and spend. And spend they will. The reason this county is in such a mess is mainly due to the spending of vast amounts of taxpayers money (other people's money) This will force up rents, and ultimately make it harder or totally unjustifiable for the vast majority of Salford tenants to contemplate employment. Effectively making a bad situation worse. Typical of Salford Council and these Housing Associations.
 
Cbp wrote
at 17:28:29 on 01 September 2013
If you credit check Salix they declared their net worth of minus £ 6.4 million in their last financial statements (submitted November last year). Their cash flow is showing a slight positive. It seems to me that the Council has dumped it's worst housing stock to Salix to take it off the Councils profit and loss accounts and therefore reduce its own lliability (and obviously, responsibility). It's very, very unlikely that Salix will be able to make any investment contribution to their property portfolio, such as modernising them to acceptable living standards, in the near future unless somebody, somewhere can give them a fairly large cash donation.
 
wrote
at 12:50:44 on 01 September 2013
I witnessed what in reality was a debacle of the first housing sell offs, Cllr Merry sold us the biggest line the last time out with City West and that was sadly a farce where it cost the Council over £2 million. The sell package was simple, this was the only way to get investment to bring the houses up to the 2010 better homes standard, City west got some nice new offices and a mass of free properties, the rents are shooting up faster than inflation and many of the estates they run are today sink estates where many good families are trapped within large sections of modern day slums. Many areas i was asked to visit suffered anti social behaviour, drugs and crime was a factor that to me seemed on the increase. When we visited with police most people where in fear to talk openly. City west like salix talk the talk but in reality it goes through the motions with little in regards to results,I often wondered that if these houses where in the control of the council direct things would have been better. was i wrong i don’t know time will tell sadly though more families will suffer under a regime of weak management and a council that just wants rid,
 
Tenant wrote
at 12:50:19 on 01 September 2013
The houses on my estate got new kitchens and bathrooms last year so where did that money come from? I seen info from Salix which says they will borrow money to spend on housing, this will only mean higher rents to pay for it. I'll be voting no!
 
Prisoner Irlam wrote
at 12:50:02 on 01 September 2013
Always remember it was Labour that started the process to transfer Council housing stock to the private sector , they dont give a s.it
 
Peter A Tully wrote
at 17:30:58 on 31 August 2013
Salix homes are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to providing services! My MaM (Maureen Tully RIP), was a volunteer for Salix for many years and never have I seen anyone worked so hard. This lower than low organisation had a hand in the demise of my MaM. I will fight Salix homes to the end.
 
Paul wrote
at 17:27:53 on 31 August 2013
The shafted Salford Taxpayers benefit from this in what way ? In no way at all ? The Town Hall Mafia must explain this .
 
Salford Star wrote
at 06:51:17 on 31 August 2013
See `wrote' second comment down below...These are the sorts of questions that people in Salford need answering. It is confusing and complicated and the Salford Star is here to question the Council on just these sort of issues. Unfortunately when the Star does this we are accused of being `extremists' and `liars' (see here http://tinyurl.com/o5wpldg), to the point where Salford Council no longer even sends us its press releases. Meanwhile any resident who wants to see how Salix Homes will be managing to make social homes decent when the Council can't, will find that its `business case', so far, has been kept secret. The Salford Star will try to unravel the answers to your questions but, unfortunately, accountability and democracy have kind of gone out of the window in Salford.
 
wrote
at 23:00:51 on 30 August 2013
Is there anything this council can do well aside from paying big bucks to those in its inner circle? It cant manage its housing stock effectively, it cant manage its social services, it cant count how many school places might be needed, it lets its historic buildings crumble till there is no hope of salvaging them. Ironically, if Salford CC was a private business its managers would be sacked by its shareholders!
 
wrote
at 23:00:46 on 30 August 2013
I have to admit that I am totally ignorant of the economics of all this, so I would be grateful if anyone could explain things to me. If the housing stock is transferred to an independent company, would this company make any payment to Salford? If an independent company takes over the housing stock and then there is a ‘huge wave of investment in social housing across Salford’ [to quote Ms Merett], how will this be paid for? Will the independent company therefore be making a profit from rents on the houses? If the company does make a profit, why couldn’t Salford do the same? I am having trouble getting my head around why a company would want to take over the housing if it wasn’t to make a profit
 
David Renshaw wrote
at 23:00:14 on 30 August 2013
Salix Homes Protest Tuesday, 24 September 2013. from 4pm. Diamond House off Eccles New Road Pendleton-Salford-Axe-The-Bedroom-Tax part Salford Against the Bedroom Tax all welcome to join the protest of the board meeting.
 
Sick of being robbed wrote
at 22:58:50 on 30 August 2013
Please Salford Star don't call it the "transfer of social housing stock", call it what it is, THEFT from the council tax payers of Salford. The people of this city own these homes the council is mearly our asset manager.
 
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