Highland tenants vote "no" in housing transfer ballot
Tenants of The Highland Council have voted “no” to the transfer of council houses to Highland Housing Association.
The ballot was run by Electoral Reform Services, an independent body that oversees ballots and elections in the UK.
Are you in favour of the Council’s proposal to transfer the ownership and management of its housing to Highland Housing Association?
Total number of eligible tenants 16,403
Total number of ballot papers received 10,179
Overall rate of participation 62%
Total number of spoilt/blank ballot papers 22
Therefore, total number of valid votes counted 10,157
Number voting YES 4,097 (40.3% of the valid vote)
Number voting NO 6,060 (59.7% of the valid vote)
TOTAL 10,157 (100% of the valid vote)
This result means that housing transfer will not go ahead. The Highland Council will now be drawing up detailed plans to deliver the investment that is needed to bring all of its houses up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.
The “no” vote also means that:
• The Council's housing debt will not be written off.
• Rents will have to increase by more than inflation to fund the required improvements.
Councillor Alison Magee, Convener of The Highland Council, said: “We respect the decision our tenants have made and their confidence in our excellent housing service. We will ensure that we continue to deliver the best possible housing service to residents of the Highlands."
Angus Maclean, Chair of Highland Housing Association said: “Everyone involved with Highland Housing Association is disappointed that tenants have not voted in favour of transfer. We all believe that our proposals would have delivered quality services and improved housing standards while ensuring that rents remained affordable, but the majority of tenants have voted to stay with the Council and we obviously respect their decision.”