Give your view on future of social housing

TENANTS are being urged to attend a special meeting next week to give their views on the future management of council-owned homes in Northumberland.

It comes after Northumberland County Council’s Executive agreed in principle to end the management arrangement with Homes for Northumberland (HfN) and establish an integrated housing management structure within the council – subject to tenant consultation.

But Karen Bailey, interim chairman for HfN Residents Forum, said there are concerns about the proposal and called on as many people as possible to attend the meeting in Alnwick on Wednesday.

It will take place from 6.30pm to 8pm at the council chambers, on Clayport Street, and both Kevin Lowry, interim head of housing services at the county council, and Ray Boycott, managing director for HfN, are due to attend.

The proposal follows the county council commissioning an independent assessment of its current arrangements for managing housing stock.

The report indicates that savings of at least £400,000 per year could be made by ending the current arrangements, whereby the stock is managed by HfN, and the resulting savings would be available to support increased expenditure on housing, including repairs and maintenance or investment in new homes.

The council has said it will consult widely with tenants on the issues raised in the report and their views will be fully considered before making a final decision.

Kevin Lowry, from the county council, said: “We are working with the residents forum as part of our consultation into the future management of council-owned homes in Northumberland.

“We are supporting the running of these meetings and those who come along will be able to help us shape the final form of the detailed consultation that we plan to carry out with all tenants and lease-holders. ”

If you cannot attend the meeting but would like to make a comment or submit a question to be raised at the forum, call Maureen on 01670 351141, Karen on 07908 722457, or Ann on 01670 731208.