POOLE council’s housing stock is to be looked after for the next 30 years by Poole Housing Partnership.

The arms-length management organisation was set up in 2004 and will continue to manage, maintain and improve the 5,200 homes across Poole.

The contract, signed this week, means PHP will help drive the development of new affordable homes, as well as the regeneration and improvement of some estates in the town.

Ray Aggett, chairman of PHPs housing strategy panel said: “This is what people in Poole wanted, particularly as PHP has an excellent track record when it comes to working with residents.

“Thanks to this agreement, residents can look forward to exciting regeneration plans which will benefit many generations to come."

Bill Constance, chairman of the PHP board said: “This new contract recognises the excellent work PHP has done to bring the council’s housing stock up to the ‘Poole Standard’.

“The team should be commended for raising the standards of service to among the very best in the country.”

Since 2004, PHP has installed 3,638 new bathrooms and 2,960 new kitchens and more than 1,450 households have benefited from free solar panels, helping reduce their energy bills.

Cllr Karen Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for housing, Borough of Poole said: “The council is currently working closely with PHP on a number of exciting projects and having this agreement in place provides security for both staff and residents.

“Work will begin soon on the Trinidad Extra Care Housing village and we hope that we will continue to work well with PHP to maintain and improve the housing stock in Poole. This contract will also help us address the issue of affordable housing in the town.”

PHP is one of the best performing housing organisations in the country, and has twice been judged excellent by the Audit Commission. It holds the government’s Customer Service Excellence award and for the past six years has been in the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for.