Liverpool tenants vote for pounds 100m trust plan

Click to follow
THOUSANDS of high-rise flat dwellers have voted overwhelmingly for a pounds 100m refurbishment programme that will take them out of the hands of Liverpool City Council.

Tenants of 5,337 homes in 67 blocks voted 82 per cent in favour of forming Britain's third and largest Housing Action Trust. Only four of the city's 71 tower blocks - which include much of Liverpool's most dilapidated housing stock - voted to keep the council as their landlord and reject the Government's scheme.

The result of the ballot was welcomed yesterday by Sir George Young, the Housing Minister, who said: 'Liverpool tenants have taken the first important step towards major improvements to their homes and surroundings.'

HATs are designed to manage concentrations of run-down local- authority housing. Tenants in Hull and in Waltham Forest, east London, voted last year to set up two trusts. Sir George said those projects were well on their way to having vastly improved living conditions.

The council's Labour leader, Harry Rimmer, who is to be vice- chairman of the HAT board, said: 'I am confident that this is a new start for housing in Liverpool. It is a milestone in the ongoing dealing with problems of council housing in this city.' The ballot was carried out between 20 July and 5 August, with 78.7 per cent of tenants voting. A total of 821 opposed the scheme. The refurbishment programme will be completed within 10 years, after which tenants can choose their new landlord.