Tenants could become landlords in Liverpool housing proposal

Tenants in council houses in Liverpool could soon be sharing control of their homes in a new landlord association.
The city’s housing chiefs have come up with plans which could see tenants taking an active role in all aspects of management and maintenance of their homes.
Government officials have agreed that Liverpool’s planned ‘mutual’ housing organisation meets stringent requirements. 
The ground-breaking scheme, which is unique for a city of Liverpool’s size, would see 19,000 tenants trained to become board members of a new landlord organisation.
Thousands of tenants could have their windows and kitchens replaced and modern central heating systems installed.
Government support and restrictions in setting council house rents means the city is unable to afford the £182 million needed to bring its properties up to the Decent Homes Standard by 2010.
The new landlord would be registered as a housing association and would be able to raise the cash to modernise council homes.
Tenants will next year be asked to vote on whether to transfer their home to the new mutual landlord.
If a majority of those vote in support of the transfer, the new organisation will be able to borrow money to bring the homes up to scratch.
Councillor Flo Clucas, Liverpool’s executive member for housing, said: “We want to improve our tenants’ homes and this gives us the opportunity to do so. At the same time it keeps tenants in control and it means that the rent they pay will be spent looking after their housing stock. We want to give control of our housing stock to the people best able to look after it the tenants who have in many cases lived in their hopes for years. But the final decision on whether or not to transfer will lie with tenants.”
Tenants are currently being recruited to train as board members so they can step into the role if the stock transfer goes ahead.