Posted: Sat 14th Sep 2013

Flintshire Homes And Services -statement

This article is old - Published: Saturday, Sep 14th, 2013

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Flintshire Homes And Services

The Flintshire Leader edition published on Friday, 11 October features a story on page 2 headlined, ‘Council homes transfer plan to be considered’ and states that ‘plans to transfer all council houses to a ‘not-for-profit housing company will be considered next week.’  This is entirely incorrect.  No council homes are affected by this proposal. The newspaper has been asked to publish a correction in its next edition.

The proposal, to be considered by the Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 15, October, is for the establishment of a not for profit housing company – ‘Flintshire Homes and Services’ which would be able to extend the range of properties and services that the Council can provide to meet its targets for new and additional homes across a range of tenures.  This proposal does not affect in any way council homes.

Should this proposal be supported by Cabinet this would be an additional provision to the council housing currently provided, and there is no change to that.

The press release issued by the Council on Thursday 10 October 2013 can be seen below:

Housing company considered

The establishment of a not for profithousing company – ‘Flintshire Homes and Services’ – will be considered by Cabinet at its meeting next Tuesday (15 October).

The Council is aware that accessing affordable homes is becoming increasingly difficult for residents, due to economic pressures, welfare reform and the difficulties of accessing mortgage finance. As part of its work to address the issue, the authority has been working hard to find creative and innovative ways to extend what housing options the Council can offer.

Among its proposals is a housing company which would be able to extend the range of properties and services that the Council can provide to meet its targets for new and additional homes across a range of tenures.

A number of investors have expressed to the Council that they are happy to invest in property but they do not want to take on management responsibilities. As the Council has extensive experience and expertise in property management and repair and maintenance, the company could provide property management services to the Private Rented Sector, which would ease the burden off private landlords and give them a guaranteed rental income. A separate company could also own property that the Council has developed and would have more flexibility in the setting of rents and in the type, and range, of tenancy agreements that could be offered. A fee would be charged, but on a not for profit basis.

Members of the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee have already agreed to support the proposal in principle.

Councillor Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“The Council has made a commitment to our residents to ensure that affordable housing is a priority and the proposal of setting up a separate holding company is extremely exciting in the flexibility that it can offer, to help us to meet that need. This underlines how seriously we are taking our commitment and that we continue to explore all options for improving homes and communities across Flintshire.”

If the proposal for a holding company is supported by the Council’s Cabinet, further work on the detail and governance arrangements will be undertaken before the company is established.

Full details of the proposal can be found on the Committee’s agenda on the Council’s website.

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