THOUSANDS of tenants have voted to ditch the borough council in favour of a new landlord.
Ownership and management of Vale Royal Borough Council-owned homes will fall under the control of the new Weaver Vale Housing Trust after 82% of tenants voted in favour of the transfer.
More than 72% of tenants took part in the secret postal vote, which means 7,000 homes will now be transferred to the trust in July 2002.
Tenants have been promised a £67m improvement programme which will see repairs and modernisation carried out at all homes within five years.
Included in the massive refurbishment scheme are plans to fit double glazing in 6,850 homes, install full central heating in houses with none or only a partial system, redesign thousands of kitchens and bathrooms, replace hundreds of roofs, upgrade security systems and make environmental improvements.
Borough council chief executive Anne Bingham-Homes said: 'The council has believed from day one that any decision to transfer its housing stock should rest entirely with the tenants.
'This resounding 'yes' vote shows that tenants have listened to the proposals and made an informed decision to transfer. We are delighted with the result.
'This council has worked hard to give tenants decent homes, but with the vote to transfer, the money will be available for the repairs and modernisation they badly need.
'The council will continue to work hard to ensure a smooth transfer to Weaver Vale Housing Trust.'