800 new council houses could be bought by Portsmouth City Council as largest acquisition of its kind planned
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Portsmouth City Council (PCC) is planning to bid to acquire 800 council homes from Clarion Housing Group. A report will be considered by councillors next Tuesday, November 28 – prior to a full council discussion on December 12.
The new houses would be in Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport, Fareham and Winchester. Councillor Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing and tackling homelessness, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to increase the number of council homes. I am delighted that we were the preferred bidder and I hope my council colleagues will back this deal.”
Cllr Sanders, Liberal Democrat for Baffins ward, said the deal’s success also hinges on Ciarion’s formal consultation and board approval – which would take effect from February 14, 2024. If the homes are bought by the council, it would be the largest purchase of its kind.
It would make PCC the largest registered social provider in Portsmouth and Havant. The local authority has already completed a tender process and representatives have spoken to current Clarion residents about the purchase.
The housing provider has chosen PCC has the preferred bidder. Chief property officer for the housing association, Rob Lane, said: “We are delighted that Portsmouth City Council has bid for these local homes.
"The local authority was chosen through a rigorous evaluation process and with the help of Clarion resident representatives who formed part of our assessment panel. All Clarion residents affected by the transfer were consulted, and their feedback taken into account during the process of selecting the new landlord.
"Portsmouth City Council demonstrated it provides a high-quality service and has a long-term commitment to residents and their homes.” Current residents will become council tenants if the purchase goes ahead – with their tenancy terms being protected.
Shared owners and leaseholders will continue on the same lease conditions. Currently, the council manages roughly 15,000 rented and 2000 leasehold homes.
Nearly two-thirds of the houses have been built after 1980. Homes outside of Portsmouth and Havant will be allocated by their local authority.
Residents transferring to the council from Clarion will receive the same benefits as existing council tenants.