Thursday, 9 January 2014


PERMISSION to build council houses again was announced by the Chancellor, Mr George Osborne in his Autumn Statement. Councils can build houses once again and if any are built in Carlisle, the city council should learn a lesson and keep hold of them as it would with 'family silver' says a community group today. Carlisle City has a long record of building — it built houses for more than 100 years until Riverside Housing Association of Liverpool bought the lot (7,200 homes) eleven years ago Riverside is now imposing soaring rents and extra charges says the group, Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation.

This is a cause of hardship for many people on the city estates - the hardship has been highlighted in the local press. At the same time, Riverside`s coffers are bulging. 'Riverside has given no explanation for these outrageous rents and charges, and amazingly, it is not obliged to,' says a letter to the city council. The money being raised is not benefitting the city which created these houses but is in fact helping to boost the reserves (profits) of Riverside, a giant property development company 100 miles away. 'Riverside`s reserves soared 41 per cent in the last financial year from £22 million to £32 million. This situation is unacceptable' says the letter .

The letter calls on the council to ensure that Riverside is transparent and accountable in its dealings with the public. 'The city deserves nothing less, given its long and proud record of building houses — selling out to Riverside was like selling the family silver' said a Federation spokesman. 'If the council builds houses again, the council should say: "Hands off the family silver".'

From Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation

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