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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 18:12 GMT
Council gives up housing stock
Council houses generic
The houses will be repaired to a high standard
All council houses under Bridgend local authority ownership are to be transferred to a not-for-profit landlord in the first scheme of its kind in Wales.

Under the plans, 6,800 properties in the area will be owned and managed by Valleys to Coast Housing.

Cllr Jeff Jones, leader of Bridgend council
Jeff Jones said the scheme would benefit tenants

As part of the scheme, the organisation will be able to borrow 70m for repairs and improvements during the first five years.

The move follows a ballot of tenants which resulted in more than 70% voting in favour of the scheme.

A total of 290m over 30 years will be borrowed and reinvested into improving the properties to a Welsh Assembly Government standard.

Councillor Jeff Jones, leader of Bridgend council said: "This is brilliant news for the tenants, they voted overwhelmingly for these proposals.

"Unlike local authorities, the new landlord will be able to borrow money to pay for the improvements needed on these houses.

"This will mean that people in these houses will be able to have all the repairs needed, like new windows and new kitchens," he said.


The ballot result is a vote for a better quality of life for tenants

Jeff Jones, Bridgend council

All tenancy rights will be retained by people living in the houses.

More than 5,000 people, nearly 70% of all tenants, took part in the ballot following a 12-month development of the proposals.

New beginning

Cllr Jones added: "The ballot result is a vote for a better quality of life for tenants.

"Tenants have recognised the very difficult financial position that housing is in and that the council is unable to fund the improvements needed.

"This represents a new beginning for housing locally and we are proud to be the first local authority housing transfer in Wales.

"I think that a lot of others will follow our direction," he added.

The new landlord of the housing stock is run by a board of 12 people - four of those members are council tenants.

James Wilson, who chairs the Valleys to Coast board, said that they were committed to achieving a better standard of housing for tenants.


More from south east Wales
See also:

06 Nov 02 | England
23 Oct 02 | England
16 Oct 02 | England
08 Oct 02 | Politics
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