Laura Sharman 29 May 2014

Government agrees £65m debt write-off for Salford

The Government has given the go-ahead for Salford City Council to transfer the ownership of its social homes, in exchange for writing off £65.1m of historic housing debt.

The new deal will see 8,500 council homes handed over to Salix Homes, which will invest £75m to bring all homes up to the Government’s Decent Homes standard by 2020.

The improvements, which the council is unable to afford, includes 4,000 homes getting new kitchens and bathrooms, fitting 2,000 homes with new windows and upgrading the heating system of 3,000 homes.

Housing minister, Kris Hopkins, said the deal was ‘great news’ for Salford’s residents. He said: ‘This investment from Salix will mean residents in all 8,500 social homes in Salford will benefit from a range of improvements, whether new kitchens or bathrooms, new windows or better heating.

‘So I’m pleased to sign this deal with the City Council and write off £65m of their historic housing debt, so they can put the offer to their tenants and so Salix can plan ahead for the investment they have committed to making.’

Cllr Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: ‘This announcement is fantastic news for tenants and for Salford as a whole and shows that the Government is confident in the council’s proposals to transfer its housing stock to Salix Homes and the extra investment that will bring.’

The council will consult tenants on the deal before a ballot in the autumn.

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