Camden pushes on with sell-offs despite government leniency
Camden Council will press ahead with a plan to fund its decent homes programme with housing sell-offs despite indications from the government that it could further delay the submission of its stock options appraisal.
The Communities and Local Government department told Inside Housing it was ‘not going to penalise' councils if they were unable to complete stock options appraisals to previously agreed deadlines.
The department confirmed that it had originally told Camden to come forward with a plan to make its homes decent by May 2007.
The council had struggled to come up with detailed proposals because tenants voted against previous plans to set up an arm's-length management organisation, leaving it with a £242 million shortfall.
Some tenants have now complained that the council is attempting to rush through it new plans too quickly.
A CLG spokesperson said: ‘The reality is that if a group comes to us with various legitimate reasons for extending we are happy to renegotiate.'
But a spokesperson for Camden Council said it needed to press ahead with its plans as quickly as possible. ‘The clear reason is that half of our homes are non-decent and beginning to deteriorate,' he said. ‘Over seven in 10 would be non-decent by 2010.'
If the council did not act people would be left living in homes that were ‘not just nondecent but unfit', he added. ‘I don't think it is fair to tenants to just say, “we can't do anything, we need investment”,' he said.