Council gets tenants backing

Winchester's Council tenants have voted overwhelmingly in support of the City Council remaining as their landlord.

More than 65% of all Council tenants and leaseholders took part in the survey. Of those, over 95% preferred the option of "Staying with the Council" rather than transferring to a Housing Association.

Richard Botham, Head of Landlord Services, thanked tenants for taking part in the survey. "Their response gives a very positive message of support for the service that the Council provides and will provide a clear steer for when the Council makes its final decision."

The Government have asked all Councils who still own housing to review how they can best achieve the Decent Homes Standard by 2010. Councils need to report to the Government by July on the approach they will adopt.

Mr Botham said that Winchester's housing is in good condition with 83% already meeting the Decent Homes Standard. "The Council is able to get all homes to the Standard by 2010. However, after 2010, maintenance costs are projected to rise significantly," he added.

"If the Council decides to remain as the landlord, it will be required to repeat the review in the next three years to identify how it will meet these increased costs."

The Council will be writing to all tenants and leaseholders to inform them of the results of the survey this month. Councillors will be considering the way forward at the Cabinet meeting on 20 April and will be making a final decision at a full Council meeting on 29 June 2005.