Homes group put transfer case to tenants

SUE SKINNER Council tenants in Fenland have been given a rundown of the benefits they can expect if their homes are taken over by a new landlord.

SUE SKINNER

Council tenants in Fenland have been given a rundown of the benefits they can expect if their homes are taken over by a new landlord.

Roddons Housing Association has sent formal offer documents to all tenants in the district detailing what it will deliver if they vote in favour of the transfer later this year.

These were accompanied by local summaries of exactly what the switch would mean for each area of Fenland and a short DVD/video explaining key aspects of the offer.

Roddons has pledged that rents

would increase at the same rate

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as they would with Fenland District Council, that key rights such as the right to buy would be protected and

that the same staff would deliver services, including scheme managers, repairmen and rent collectors.

The offer, which is open to comment from tenants, also includes:

500 new affordable homes to be built in the first five years of transfer.

A £1m community fund.

A dedicated anti-social behaviour team and out-of-hours response service.

Wooden fencing and security lighting.

A welfare benefits adviser.

Front-of-house/off-street parking where practical.

First-floor toilets for homes that now have only ground-floor loos.

Over-bath electric showers.

Services for tenants aged over 60 or with a disability would include free handyman, decorating and gardening services, as well as a shorter waiting time for aids and adaptations - and faster completion of works required.

Ron Butcher, a Wisbech tenant and chairman of the Roddons shadow board, said: "We've consulted tenants across Fenland and, hopefully, have an offer that will appeal to as many people as possible, offering them more and

better services than the council could provide.

"It's really important that, before they vote, tenants have all the accurate information about what the transfer would mean.

"All promises made in the offer document are legally binding, with the Housing Corporation ensuring Roddons keeps to the offer."

Any later changes to the offer as a result of tenants' views will be made clear before the ballot.