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Housing in Salford benefits from new investment

Council tenants in Salford could benefit from new investment under the terms of a new deal announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).Salford City Council's historic £65.1 million debt has been written off and approval granted for the transfer of ownership of the council's social homes to Salix Homes, which is currently responsible for managing the assets. In return, Salix Homes has made a commitment to invest £75 million to ensure that all 8,500 properties will reach the government’s decent homes standard by 2020.As a result, some 4,000 homes will be equipped with new kitchens or bathrooms, while 2,000 will be fitted with new windows. A further 3,000 properties are to have their heating systems upgraded.Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "Today's deal is great news for Salford's residents, unlocking £75 million to invest in bringing their homes up to a high standard."This investment from Salix will mean residents in all 8,500 social homes in Salford will benefit from a range of improvements, whether new kitchens or bathrooms, new windows or better heating."A consultation will be held before Salford tenants are given the chance to vote on the changes later this year. The deal will only go ahead if they vote yes.Councillor Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment at Salford City Council, described the agreement as "fantastic news". She added that Salix Homes has a very strong track record and the group will be able to deliver the investment needed to provide the housing service Salford residents deserve.Barbara Harper, a tenant and chairwoman of the Customer Senate, also welcomed the news and urged tenants to vote yes to guarantee a sustainable future for social housing in Salford.A number of other councils are also considering whether to take advantage of the debt write-off offer. In April, Gloucester Council transferred its social homes to a housing association in exchange for a £50 million write-off. 

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