Salix Homes confirmed as potential landlord for Salford tenants
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities
Peter Styche OBE, Chair of the Salix Homes Board, Barbara Harper, chair of the Salix Homes Customer Senate, and Joe Willis, Salix Homes Chief Executive.
A social housing provider has been officially confirmed as the potential landlord to take ownership of council homes in Salford.
Last month Salford-based Salix Homes was recommended by a special panel, including tenants, as the preferred bidder to take ownership of 8,200 council properties in Salford.
Now City Mayor Ian Stewart has formally backed the proposals giving the green light to push ahead with a tenant ballot.
Salix Homes, which currently manages the properties on behalf of Salford City Council, is promising to invest £700 million in the homes over the next 30 years if the proposed stock transfer goes ahead.
It is also promising an increased customer involvement in the running of the organisation, an improvement on services for residents and a range of measures to make safer neighbourhoods.
Because of Government changes to how social housing is funded, Salford City Council, which currently owns the homes, does not have access to the money needed to make the necessary improvements and bring the properties up to modern standards.
Transferring the ownership to a new registered housing provider is the only option available if the homes are to get the improvements they need.
Peter Styche OBE, Chair of the Salix Homes Board, said: “This announcement is fantastic news for our customers, all associated with Salix Homes and Salford as a whole and marks a pivotal moment in our history.
“We firmly believe that as a stand-alone registered provider, we will be in the strongest position possible to make the investment needed to improve all our homes and continue to provide the excellent services we pride ourselves on.
“Since our inception in 2007 we have made huge improvements to hundreds of tenants’ homes and to housing services in Salford and we are committed to continuing to improve people’s homes. As a Salford-based organisation, we are rooted in this great city and its communities and are committed to ensuring tenants are at the heart of the organisation and how it is run.
“We will now work closely with the council and our customers to develop an offer which will meet the needs and aspirations of tenants ahead of a ballot taking place next year.”
Barbara Harper, chair of the Salix Homes Customer Senate, which is made up of tenants who scrutinise services and recommend improvements, said: “Earlier this year we did a ‘test of opinion’ survey among tenants, which found they overwhelmingly wished to see their homes improved so it’s wonderful news that we are now able to start the next stage of this process.
“I’d encourage all tenants to take part in the coming ballot. We want the highest possible percentage of tenants to use their vote as this is such an important decision which will determine the standard of homes and services that will be provided for generations to come.”
Salford’s Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment, Councillor Gena Merrett, said: “Salix Homes’ bid offered the best value for money for residents and the council.
“They gave clear commitments to invest £700 million in the properties over the next 30 years, increased customer involvement in the running of the properties, and more opportunities for jobs and training.
“I’m looking forward to the ballot and to seeing a huge wave of investment in homes across Salford.”
The ballot is expected to take place early next year.