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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Council homes receive 1.5bn boost
Council housing
The government aims to make all council homes decent by 2010
More than 1.5bn is to be spent on improving sub-standard council homes in England.

The extra money will be spent over the next two years to make council accommodation in 13 areas meet the government's decent homes standard.

The councils, including three in London, will retain control of rent levels and housing policy under the government's Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) programme.

But the responsibility for collecting rent, managing the properties and arranging repairs will be transferred to new management companies.

Further government funding will depend on the performance of these companies.

The ALMOs will make sure all their homes are in a good state of repair with modern facilities and services
Housing minister Keith Hill

The councils involved are: Barnet, Camden, Easington, Gateshead, Harrow, High Peak, Islington, Newcastle, Poole, Sheffield, Solihull, South Lakeland and Warrington.

Housing minister Keith Hill said 185,000 homes - 60% of which currently fell below the decent homes standard - would benefit from the scheme.

The government aimed to make all council homes decent by 2010, he added.

And tenants would benefit from a closer involvement in the management of their homes through representation on the ALMO boards.

"The ALMOs will make sure all their homes are in a good state of repair with modern facilities and services."

Gateshead councillor Peter Mole said the news that tenants and leaseholders in the city would benefit from an extra 63m was "great".

The ALMO would "bring enormous benefits to thousands of people and their homes," he added.

"Gateshead Council sees this as a positive step towards a better future for everyone living in Gateshead, and we are sure thousands of local people do as well."




SEE ALSO:
Company to run housing stock
28 Jul 03  |  Cumbria
Leeds council house shake-up
30 Jan 03  |  England


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