Housing Boss Criticises Home Transfer Claims

The battle over whether council houses should remain in local authority ownership has led to allegations of blatant misrepresentation as tenants vote on the issue in Wales’ second city. Mick Bennett, the director of Community Housing Cymru, the umbrella body for housing associations, said he was appalled at claims made in leaflets distributed in Swansea.

Council tenants in Swansea have until noon today to vote on a proposal to transfer ownership of their homes to Tawe Housing, a “community mutual” housing association managed by Swansea Council, tenants’ representatives and independent trustees.

Mr Bennett said, “The leaflets distributed by Swansea Defend Council Housing, which is calling for a No vote, blatantly misrepresent the position. They refer to the proposal as ‘privatisation’, which is completely untrue, as the people who will be shareholders under the new arrangements will be tenants themselves.

“The leaflet calls for a campaign to get the Treasury to change its mind over not writing off council debts if homes stay in council ownership. There is absolutely no chance of that happening. If stock transfer is not authorised, there is very little chance of homes getting the improvements they need, while the work will certainly be funded if there is a Yes vote.”