FLINTSHIRE Council housing tenants should vote to hand over control of their properties to a social landlord, an AM says.

The properties must be brought up to Welsh Assembly Government standard by 2012 and tenants must choose whether to keep the council in charge or transfer the properties to a housing association.

A ballot will take place later this year and North Wales AM Mark Isherwood, the Assembly Government’s shadow housing minister, is urging tenants, who will have the final decision, to opt for a full transfer of the authority’s 7,500 properties.

Residents in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales, have voted to transfer more than 9,000 council properties to social landlord NPT Homes.

Mr Isherwood said: “The positive decision, dubbed by the council leader Ali Thomas in the council’s offer document as ‘the investment opportunity of a lifetime’, commits the new landlord to £152 million of repairs and improvements over the first six years, including 8,500 new or upgraded kitchens, 8,400 new or upgraded bathrooms, 6,000 new central heating systems and £10 million on estate and environmental improvements.

“Such benefits could be enjoyed by Flintshire tenants if they opted for stock transfer.

“There has been much misinformation about housing stock transfer, but I have always believed this is the best way forward.

“We are not just talking about houses, but also about communities, additional opportunities and positive impacts for the area.

“Stock transfer that gives tenants a voice can kick-start sustainable economic and social regeneration.”

What do you think is the best option for council tenants?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.