Voluntary group for homes switch

PUBLISHED: 12:11 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 21:57 28 May 2010

A NEW voluntary group has been formed to oversee the potential transfer of Fenland housing to a new landlord. If tenants vote in favour of transfer, the new housing association in Fenland would be run by its own board. In the time up until the tenant ball

A NEW voluntary group has been formed to oversee the potential transfer of Fenland housing to a new landlord.

If tenants vote in favour of transfer, the new housing association in Fenland would be run by its own board. In the time up until the tenant ballot this group is called a 'shadow board'.

The shadow board is currently made up of 13 people and all members had to pass an interview before being accepted on to the board.

To make sure tenants' views are heard and acted on, there are five tenant members of the shadow board working with five council nominees and three independent members. The independent members have been selected by tenant and council members of the Board on the basis of their specialist skills in areas such as finance. Two further independent members will be recruited to bring the full board membership up to 15.

The shadow board's role is to use information about tenants' aspirations to set the policies and priorities for the new housing association aiming to take on Fenland District Council's 3,800 homes. It will also oversee the offer made to Fenland tenants on which they will be asked to vote later in the year. The offer will provide details of exactly what tenants will get from their new landlord in terms of services, staff, rents, repairs, improvements and the building of new affordable housing every year.

The news comes as the Circle Anglia group has been chosen as the preferred partner. Circle Anglia already has extensive experience of stock transfer and will support a new housing association which will be set up specifically for Fenland. The name of the new association will be announced over the coming weeks.

If more than 50 per cent of tenants who vote agree to transfer, the shadow board members will become the new housing association's board.

Members of the shadow board have elected tenant Ron Butcher as chairman. He said: "The shadow board has an extremely important job to do over the coming months. The new housing association will make a huge contribution to ensuring that high quality, affordable social housing exists in Fenland for generations to come.

"We are determined to make sure that what is on offer meets the needs of tenants of all ages and in all parts of Fenland. We know that issues such as repairs, rent levels, disabled adaptations and security matter a great deal to people. We will see to it that the best quality services are central to what the new housing association offers to tenants when they vote.

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