Headlines: June 29th, 2010

Council leaders say a locally based system to protect tenants’ rights could be the way to replace the soon-to-be abolished Tenant Services Authority. The scrapping of the Authority has been announced by the Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, who said last week that it had wasted a scandalous amount of money and was ‘toast’.

Councillor Gary Porter, the Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Environment Board, said it was right that the Government was considering the future of a quango that cost 50 million pounds a year. It was vital, however, that what replaced the TSA put the interests of tenants at its heart.

“Housing associations must continue to serve tenants well, remain in good financial health and maintain the confidence of private lenders, he said and added: “We would like to explore the scope for a locally based system where tenants can hold their landlords to account to drive standards and performance.”

Announcing his intention to scrap the TSA, Mr. Shapps said: “This is an organisation that has wasted a scandalous amount of money on massive marketing programmes and lobbying government ministers. That’s just not acceptable in the current climate.” The Homes and Communities Agency would pick up some of the TSA’s functions but he wanted it to concentrate on delivering homes.