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Tenants want more of a say in housing shake-up
COUNCIL tenants have demanded more of a say in the future of South Essex Homes.
Residents living in some of Southend Council’s 6,000 homes want it to come clean about its intention for the management organisation.
South Essex Homes has held responsibility for the everyday running of council properties in the borough for the past seven years, but council chiefs are considering axing it to cut costs.
Although bosses insisted no decision has been made, residents claimed they were being left out of the process.
Speaking at a council meeting, a tenant named only as Mr Ali said: “For residents to have a say in the housing review, they need to be well informed.
“Southend Council should give full disclosure of its discontent with South Essex Homes.”
Another resident, who did not want to be named, added: “I can’t understand what is going on. Why aren’t we, as the tenants, being involved in this decision? It seems crazy.”
South Essex Homes, which was set up in October 2005, is given more than £9million a year by the council as a management fee for running the properties.
The body deals with tenants’ day-to-day problems, as well as routine maintenance.
Council chiefs set up a review of the organisation earlier this year, as part of its bid to save more than £30million over the next three years.
If South Essex Homes was merged back into the council, savings could potentially be made through redundancies or management restructuring.
Lesley Salter, the Tory councillor responsible for social housing, said the review was not about the council’s discontent with South Essex Homes.
She added: “As part of the review, the council is required to consult with tenants on any significant change in management arrangements and councillors will be debating the best way to achieve this at a special meeting on October 17.”