Forum members call for better council tennant arrangements

PUBLISHED: 09:51 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010

MEMBERS of Uttlesford District Council Tenant Forum are set to travel down to London to try to secure a better deal for council tenants in the district. Two forum representatives will take a strongly worded letter to a seminar on council housing finance o

MEMBERS of Uttlesford District Council Tenant Forum are set to travel down to London to try to secure a better deal for council tenants in the district.

Two forum representatives will take a strongly worded letter to a seminar on council housing finance organised by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) today (December 19).

The letter explains that Uttlesford tenants are deeply unhappy with the national system for financing social housing.

Under the current system, money collected from council tenants is sent to a Government pool before being redistributed to councils across the country.

The tenants and Uttlesford District Council believe the district is getting a bad deal under this system, as it only receives back around half the amount of money it sends to the Government.

Daphne Cornell, chair of the tenant forum, said: "The forum has launched a campaign to persuade the Government that it is unfair to take over half of the rent we pay.

"The Government's reasoning for doing this is to take from the efficiently run housing departments and to give to the less efficient. This cannot be right."

The council is concerned that if the Government continues to take such a high amount of its housing income - more than £5 million last year - it will not be able to maintain its housing stock to the Decent Homes Standard.

This issue was raised earlier this year when a group of councillors and officers travelled to Westminster to meet Iain Wright, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the DCLG.

Cllr Rod Chamberlain, Community Committee vice chairman, was among that group.

He said: "The Council strives to provide an excellent service for its tenants, but the current funding system risks jeopardising our ability to maintain that."

The Government is currently reviewing its policy. Its findings will be announced in the spring.

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