Gloucester City Council tenants vote for transfer to housing association

Council tenants in Gloucester have voted to transfer the ownership of their homes to a housing association.

It follows two years of consultation with the occupiers of 4,800 properties on Gloucester City Council's books.

Tenants had to decide whether to keep the housing stock with the local authority or transfer it to a separate company, Gloucester City Homes (GCH).

The vote means the transfer will take place next year, subject to a formal decision by the council later.

GCH has managed the council's housing stock since 2005.

A city council spokesman said if the tenants had not agreed to the proposed change it faced a £22m shortfall in cash to keep the homes maintained over the next 10 years.

At present, GCH is a management company wholly owned by the council but run "at arms length".

After the transfer GCH will become an independent not-for-profit social housing provider, owning and managing the homes - and a different set of financial rules will apply to it.

It means the company will be able to borrow the money needed to maintain and improve homes when the work is needed.

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