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Borough’s largest landlord gets new contract with the council
Friday 22nd March, 2013

The organisation that manages Wigan Council’s social housing stock has been given an extended contract.

Councillors a pproved plans to give Wigan and Leigh Housing a new ten year deal at a cabinet meeting on Thursday (March 21st). The proposal also included an option to extend the contract for an additional five years.

The new deal will see a formal agreement between Wigan and Leigh Housing and the council to continue working together on projects such as building new homes, energy conservation and homelessness. The two organisations will also work more closely on sharing services, creating more specialist housing for those with specific care needs, regeneration initiatives, widening training and employment opportunities and supporting residents affected by changes to the welfare system.

A report into how the council’s 22,000 properties are managed recommended the contract extension after reviewing the performance of Wigan and Leigh Housing and exploring other potential options. The report found tenant satisfaction and value for money were high. As such, councillors unanimously approved the plan to offer Wigan and Leigh Housing the new deal with an enhanced role.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for housing, said: “It is clear tenants are satisfied with the service they get from Wigan and Leigh Housing. They’re doing a good job of looking after the council’s housing stock. This new deal is good for them, good for the council and most importantly good for tenants. It offers stability and an opportunity to invest and plan for the long-term.

“We have a good relationship with Wigan and Leigh Housing and this contract formalises some of the work we are already doing together.”

Wigan and Leigh Housing was formed in 2002 as a not-for-profit, arm’s length management organisation. Since it took over running social housing in Wigan Borough performance has improved year-on-year. In 2002, 79 per cent of tenants said they were satisfied with their landlord. The latest survey results show satisfaction levels at 91 per cent.

Neil Turner, chair of Wigan and Leigh Housing said: “This new deal is a tremendous vote of confidence in the service we provide to our tenants. We’ve worked long and hard to improve the state of the housing stock, to develop new housing and to work with tenants to improve their communities. We’ve seen some great results and I think this new contract shows the faith the council has in us to continue to provide an excellent service.

“It’s a privilege to be entrusted with such an important asset as social housing. It is our intention to build on what we have achieved and make our communities even better places to live.”

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