Havering councillor makes bid to transfer power to the people

A COUNCILLOR wants to transfer the borough’s housing stock from Homes In Havering under new government legislation.

Rainham and Wennington Cllr Mark Logan (Independent Local Residents’ Group) wants to challenge Homes In Havering’s control of council housing and put it in the hands of residents.

He said: “I think that too much of tax payers’ money has been wasted and I think the only way to stop it is that if the residents are able to take control of it themselves.”

Under new legislation, section 34 of the Housing Act enables tenants to take control of their estates, potentially preventing local authorities from forcing through their own development plans.

Cllr Logan argues his plan would mean that Homes In Havering would no longer have control of council housing in the area and it would be the responsibility of residents.

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As part of the proposals, the borough would be split into four areas with a manager responsible for each, and different contractors would ensure that the houses are up to scratch.

He said: “The only thing Homes In Havering seem to be doing at the moment is privatising council houses, but it belongs to the people so if they are going to privatise it they should put it in the hands of the residents rather than a housing association.

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“My experience of Homes In Havering is that they have been appalling and they just seem to take too long to do anything.”

Cllr Logan is now aiming to submit an official application to the council on the proposals before drawing up a list of rules and regulations about the plans.

Before the proposals are given the go-ahead, a period of public consultation would take place.

Since the legislation was implemented residents living on an estate in Hammersmith & Fulham have also made a challenge to take control of their homes.

A spokesman for Homes In Havering said: “Homes in Havering is not privatising council houses and has no role in doing so.

“The use, sale and letting of council properties has always been and remains the responsibility of the London Borough of Havering.”

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Lesley Kelly said. “So far we haven’t had any formal approach of a resident led housing association to take over the running of the housing stock. We will, of course consider any resident led proposal that is put to us.”

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