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Crisis-hit Cosmopolitan in £4 million homes transfer deal with Halton Housing Trust

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Crisis-hit Cosmopolitan in £4 million homes transfer deal with Halton Housing Trust

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

Crisis-hit Cosmopolitan in £4 million homes transfer deal with Halton Housing Trust Crisis-hit Cosmopolitan in £4 million homes transfer deal with Halton Housing Trust

Halton Housing Trust is close to striking a multi-million pound deal with crisis-hit Cosmopolitan Housing Association to transfer 171 homes in Cheshire.

Cosmopolitan, which is currently in merger talks with Sanctuary, is reported to be off-loading the homes in Runcorn for around £4 million as part of a move to ease its financial situation.

Customers living in the 171 homes in Ellesmere Street and Halton Lodge have recently received letters explaining the possible transfer and seeking their views.

All those affected have been invited to consultation events over the next two weeks where Halton Housing Trust and CHA colleagues will be on hand to answer questions on future management and maintenance of their homes.

Nick Atkin, Halton Housing Trust Chief Executive, said: “The Trust has been involved in longstanding discussions with Cosmopolitan Housing Association (CHA) on how we could enable them to consolidate their position in their key areas whilst also enabling the Trust to build upon its existing portfolio in Runcorn.

"Halton Borough Council has been kept fully informed of the plans and has expressed their support. As the largest single landlord in the borough we have a strong presence and reputation in the borough.

"We are keen to support the regeneration of the area as well as offering high quality, locally based services to these customers.”

John Denny, Cosmopolitan Housing Group Chief Executive, said: “Our proposals to transfer 171 homes to the Trust are part of our longstanding stock rationalisation from early 2012 which will deliver the best services for residents in the context of local service delivery.

“We are consulting with residents and working in partnership with the Trust as to the transfer of a first tranche of 74 homes and a second tranche of 97 homes. The Trust is a leading landlord in the borough; the transfer of our stock makes sense for Cosmopolitan Housing Association and our residents in Halton, where we have a small presence.

"Foremost, we have considered this proposed transfer for the benefit of residents, who will be able to access wider services due to the Trust’s larger footprint in the area. This is part of our strategic review of our portfolio, which we have responsibly considered during these challenging economic times for all.”

A HCA spokesperson said: “We are aware of CHA’s proposals to transfer ownership of some homes to Halton Housing Trust. No transfer has yet occurred and landlords will be carrying out consultation with tenants before any final decision is made. Should the outcome be to proceed with the disposal, a formal request will be made to the regulator to grant consent to the disposal.”

Subject to a positive outcome from the consultation process and agreement from the Homes and Communities Agency it is expected the ownership of the homes will transfer to the Trust during March 2013.

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