Tenants Reminded To Have Their Say on Council Housing

Posted by: caroline smith on 21 February 2024 09:08

Tenants and leaseholders are reminded that they have two weeks remaining to give their views in a ballot about the future of council housing stock in the borough.

Independent consultation has been underway since 30 January and is due to close on 7 March.

More than 1,300 tenants and leaseholders have already given their views, either by returning their postal ballot form or by completing the online survey.

The consultation was launched after Cabinet took a 'minded to' decision in December to bring the delivery of housing services back in-house.

Their decision followed an independent review of council housing, which was commissioned in anticipation of revised regulatory and legislative requirements, and to ensure the best outcomes for residents.

Cabinet's preferred option, as recommended at the conclusion of the review, was that services currently delivered by South Tyneside Homes, the council's Arm's Length Management Organisation (ALMO), should transfer back to direct council control.

All tenants and leaseholders should have received a ballot pack through the post containing contain a letter, information about the proposals and a ballot paper. This can be completed and returned by post or people can give their views via an online survey at Votes (ukevote.uk)

Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "Tenants are at the very heart of this so it's vital that we bring them on this journey with us.

"We've already had hundreds of responses from tenants in all areas of the borough but we want to hear as many views as possible.

"This is a statutory part of the process, not just a tick-box exercise."

He added: "Since it was established in 2006, South Tyneside Homes has brought thousands of properties up to the Decent Homes standard and beyond, improving conditions and enhancing residents' quality of life.

"We know from ward visits and walkabouts that residents continue to really value the work being done in their homes and communities. However, tenant satisfaction is mixed and it's important that as a responsible landlord we listen to and act upon their views.

"Housing is about far more than bricks and mortar, it's a gateway to many other services and it's crucial that we adopt a whole-system approach to provide more effective prevention, intervention and support for residents.

"The review gave us the opportunity to evaluate our housing services and identify improvements that will make a difference to tenants and we want their input to shape the best possible services going forward."

Cabinet also approved putting in place interim governance arrangements to ensure shared structure and operational oversight.

Once consultation is complete, the findings will be presented to a meeting of Cabinet, where it will be asked to make a final decision. Following that, if agreed, work would then start to implement any changes.

Cllr Richard Porthouse, Chair of South Tyneside Homes' Board, said: "We remain fully committed to the delivery of excellent housing services for our customers, and we will continue to support them throughout this process."

Further information and frequently asked questions can be found at: Council Housing Review - South Tyneside Homes

Last modified: 21 February 2024 09:08