HC Deb 31 March 1993 vol 222 c282W
Mrs. Gorman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answers of 15 March,Official Report,columns 76 to 78, if the answer covers transfers to tenants' management boards with the estates remaining in the ownership of the local council; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry

Grants offered in 1992–93 under section 429A of the Housing Act 1985, as amended, include grants paid to tenants' organisations for the purpose of developing tenant management organisations (TMOs): either estate management boards (EMBs) or tenant management co-operatives (TMCs).

Both kinds of TMO are able to take on the management of their housing through a management agreement negotiated with the local authority under the provisions of section 27 of the Housing Act 1985, as amended, though ownership of the houses remains with the local authority. Since April 1990, when grants were first made available directly to tenants' organisations, 66 TMOs have been established, with a further 50 in their development phase.

The Government now propose, through powers which will be taken in the Housing and Urban Development Bill, to introduce a new right to manage for local authority tenants. Providing they are able to meet certain criteria, tenants' organisations will be able to serve on the local authority a notice of their intention to exercise the right to manage. Regulations will provide a framework for the procedures which must be followed by tenants' organisations and local authorities in circumstances where the right to manage is exercised. If these are successfully carried through, the local authority will be required to enter into a management agreement—the form of which will be specified by the Secretary of State—with the TMO. The Government's recent consultation paper "Tenant Involvement and the Right to Manage" (DOE/Welsh Office 1992) sets out in more detail the policy background and procedural arrangements for this important new right.