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No government support on housing stock plan

SIR - I am writing to inform you and council tenants across the borough of some important new information concerning the proposed Housing Stock Transfer.

A few weeks ago I wrote to the Minister of Housing, Keith Hill on behalf of residents in the borough asking for the answer to a question being asked by many people considering which way to vote in this month's ballot.

I asked him directly if, in the event of tenants voting no' to their homes being transferred to KT Housing Trust, the government would step in and provide Kingston Council with the money it needs for repairs and improvements to our estates.

I have now received a reply from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster and it is clear that the Government will not do so. The letter says; "should there be a "no" vote in Kingston, tenants would be wrong to believe any additional resources would be forthcoming from the Office, other than through ALMO or PFI options."

The Housing Options Steering group considered both the ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) and PFI (Private Finance Initiative) options and these were not considered appropriate for Kingston.

The importance of this fresh information for tenants is that it confirms that the only way they can be sure of getting the improvements in homes and services they need is to support the stock transfer.

Derrick Johnson, Chairperson, Kingston Federation of Residents.

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