Council tenants in Salford could benefit from up to £75 million investment in their homes, under the terms of a new deal announced today (28 May 2014).
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins gave the green light for Salford City Council to transfer ownership of its social homes to Salix Homes – by writing off the council’s £65.1 million historic housing debt.
The minister described the deal as “great news for Salford residents”.
Raising Salford homes to a decent standard
Currently, Salford’s 8,500 social homes are owned by Salford City Council and managed by Salix Homes, a not-for-profit company.
Under the terms of the deal reached today, Salford City Council would transfer ownership of the homes to Salix, while the government would write off its £65.1 million historic housing debt.
In exchange, Salix Homes has made a commitment to invest £75 million to ensure that all 8,500 properties will reach the government’s Decent Homes standard by 2020.
This will include:
- 4,000 homes getting new kitchens or bathrooms
- 2,000 homes getting new windows
- 3,000 homes getting upgraded heating
The deal will now be put to consultation, before Salford tenants get a chance to vote later this year. Only if tenants vote yes will the deal go ahead.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
“Today’s deal is great news for Salford’s residents, unlocking £75 million to invest in bringing their homes up to a high standard.
“This investment from Salix 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 £65 million of their historic housing debt, so they can put the offer to their tenants and so Salix can plan ahead for the investment they have committed to making.”
Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council 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 a strong position to make the necessary investment to the homes and provide the kind of housing service that the people of Salford deserve.”
Barbara Harper, a tenant and chairwoman of the Customer Senate, 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.”