Saturday, 19 May 2012

The benefits of housing associations

When local council home tenants voted against being transferred to a housing association, I think they missed a trick.

Housing associations are so much more than landlords. As not for profit mutuals, any surplus is channelled back into the housing stock and they offer planned maintenance programmes and responsive repair services. They also offer a range of other services to their tenants and work with support agencies to supply homes for people with diverse additional support needs, including those with learning disabilities, homeless individuals, young people leaving care, women fleeing domestic abuse, those recovering from substance-misuse and people with mental health problems. They invest in the communities they manage and take a proactive approach to managing anti-social behaviour issues.

Not only have local tenants lost out on the holistic packages of support that housing associations provide, the local authority is going to have to folk out £170 million to bring the council stock up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. They money may be there, but just imagine the other uses it could have been put to, especially in these challenging economic times.

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