Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Paisley stock transfer rejection highlights need for fourth option for council housing

Date: Tue 17 November 2009

UNISON, the union representing housing workers, today welcomed the clear rejection of housing stock transfer delivered by Renfrewshire's council tenants in the Ferguslie Park area of Paisley.
The Ferguslie Park tenants voted by 53% to 46% against proposals to transfer the council housing stock to a housing association.

Mark Ferguson, UNISON Renfrewshire Branch Secretary said:"We are pleased that tenants have delivered this vote in favour of retaining democratic control over their houses. They have refused to be coerced by the threats to future investments. Now they deserve serious investments in stock improvements by the council."

UNISON has fought against council house transfers for some time alongside tenants, other trade unions and housing campaigners. The union has called for a 'fourth option' to ensure that investment is available for council housing in a similar way to the investment thrown at stock transfer, PFI or so-called 'arms-length management companies.'

Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Policy said:"This result confirms previous ballot results across Scotland, and shows that there is a pressing need for the Government to allow democratically accountable councils to have the same ability to invest in housing as that granted to other stock owners. Direct investment would be cheaper and deliver faster improvements, yet governments persist in favouring stock transfer as a precursor to much-needed investment."



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