PLANS to sell off 6,000 council homes in Crewe and Nantwich are to go before the public.
The borough council is keen to offload the properties to a non-profit-making housing association, saying it can no longer afford to pay for their upkeep.
It has been announced tenants will be balloted in March on whether they want to change landlords. The council has now also decided to employ private consultants to provide impartial advice.
Should tenants vote yes in the secret vote the homes will become the property of the Wulvern Housing Trust, run by a board of five councillors, five tenants' representatives and five embers of the public.
None of the board members will be paid for their work.
To help in explaining the complex implications of the decision to tenants, the council has employed the services of PS Consultants who will offer advice on all aspects of the housing transfer free of charge to tenants.
The council's housing chief, Cllr Maureen Grant, said: 'We have always been proud of the housing service provided in our borough but we are concerned that we cannot afford to carry out the repairs and improvements that need doing and keep rents at affordable levels.
'We have looked at the available options, have taken a lot of expert advice and decided that the best way forward is to put this proposal to our tenants for their consideration.
'Our aim now is to explain the process, and the way in which tenants will be affected by it, as clearly as possible so that in a ballot the tenants will be able to make their decision based on the facts and the fullest information.'
The project is described by the council as its 'biggest single financial undertaking to date'.
The council is yet to decide the price it will put on its properties, but the cash will go back into the council's coffers to pay for future capital projects.
Rumoured prices of less than £10,000 per home have already been slammed by Nantwich Independent councillor Bill McGinnis who claims the council will be selling at a 'bargain basement' price.