H&F Commission advocates housing transfer

Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Residents’ Commission on Council Housing has recommended that the council transfer ownership of its homes to a local, not-for-profit, community-owned housing organisation.

The proposals are contained in the final report of the independent commission, chair by the Rt Hon Keith Hill, established to report on the future of council housing in Hammersmith & Fulham.

“This report is hugely impressive in its depth and detail, and is a fitting testament to the huge amount of work and engagement that the commission has carried out,” said Cllr Lisa Homan, H&F Cabinet Member for Housing.

“The commission clearly thinks a transfer of ownership will provide the best safeguard for local tenants, leaseholders and their homes in the long term, while also providing the funding needed for repairs, improvements and new housing.”

“The report makes a compelling case, and my cabinet colleagues and I will now consider the recommendations very carefully.”

The council will make a final decision at a future cabinet meeting. If they decide to accept the reccommendations, tenants and leaseholders will be ballotted. The transfer can only happen if that ballot supports it.

Established by H&F Council in February, the commission was chaired by former housing minister, the Rt Hon Keith Hill, along with six tenants, three leaseholders and three independent housing experts.

Chair Keith Hill said: “Our decision to recommend a community gateway option has been exhaustively examined and passionately debated. And we think a full transfer is the best option for council tenants, leaseholders and housing in the borough.”

The full report recommends a voluntary transfer of ownership to a new organisation that would be a not-for-profit housing association with a constitution substantially based on the “community gateway” model, and that they should do so “at the earliest possible date”.

It also recommends that the Council should carry out a study of opportunities to deliver
new homes and community-led regeneration.

The report makes it clear that the transfer will not include homes on the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates that have been sold to Capital & Counties (Capco).

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