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Residents asked to pledge support for a community housing trust

Community Housing Trust launch at Celebrating Chessington with Councillor Cathy Roberts, Mayor of Kingston Councillor Mary Clark and Councillor Patricia Bamford.
Community Housing Trust launch at Celebrating Chessington with Councillor Cathy Roberts, Mayor of Kingston Councillor Mary Clark and Councillor Patricia Bamford.

An ambitious scheme to give council tenants and leaseholders substantial control over their housing services has been launched by Kingston Council and Kingston Federation of Residents.

Joint press release from Kingston Council and the Kingston Federation of Residents

Residents are being asked to pledge their support for the scheme, which could see a not-for-profit community housing trust (CHT) take over the management and delivery of the Council’s housing services. The CHT proposals, which received all-party Council support in February, would see tenants and leaseholders elected to fill the majority of seats on a Trust management board, giving them responsibility for front-line housing services.

Before the CHT proposals can be given government approval, the Council and Federation need to show that a majority of residents support the idea. So, following the launch of an awareness programme highlighting the many benefits of a CHT, a consultation period is now taking place, encouraging individual tenants and leaseholders to pledge their support for the plans.

Tenants and leaseholders had their first opportunity to make their pledges at the 'Celebrating Chessington' Fun Day (held on Thursday 28 May), when Council and Federation representatives were on hand to answer questions about the plans and invite residents to pledge their support.

The launch was supported by newly appointed Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mary Clark and the Lead Member for Housing, Councillor Cathy Roberts who said:

“Putting the community at the front and centre of what we do is a priority for the Council. A community housing trust will give our tenants and leaseholders unprecedented control of their own housing services.

"Experience from existing CHTs like Welwyn Hatfield and Lambeth, shows that when residents have more of a say, satisfaction levels are higher and services are improved. I invite all tenants and leaseholders to go online to find out more, pledge support and help put the future of their homes in their own hands."

Richard Grosvenor, Secretary of Kingston Federation of Residents, said:

"When we launched our proposals for a community housing trust a year ago, we were delighted to find ourselves pushing at an open Council door and even happier when we won all-party backing to develop the scheme. As the organisation that champions the rights and aspirations of council tenants and leaseholders, we believe this will be the best thing ever to happen to social housing in Kingston.”

For more information about the community housing trust proposals and what the changes may mean for you, please visit www.kingston.gov.uk/housingtrust