HYNDBURN Council is set to transfer its homes to a private company following an overwhelming tenants' vote in favour of the move.
In a secret ballot held last week nearly 80 per cent voted to put their houses into the hands of Hyndburn Homes, a non-profit-making organisation which is a subsidiary of the Contour Housing Group.
This means 3,500 homes are set to leave council ownership later this year.
Hyndburn Homes now plans to spend a whopping £35M on repairs and improvements over the next five years.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "The decision on whether or not to transfer has always been for the tenants to make. This 'yes' vote shows that tenants have listened to the proposals and made an informed decision to transfer.
"I personally believe this is a fantastic result for our residents and one that means more money will now be available for modernising tenants' homes.
"I'm sure Hyndburn Homes will make a great landlord and I've been very impressed by the commitment it has shown to involving tenants every step of the way."
Labour group leader Councillor Jean Battle said: "I'm delighted that tenants have been so widely consulted and involved in the development of the transfer proposal. I have every confidence that Hyndburn Homes will deliver its promises."
Councillor Tim O'Kane added: "I think this will be extremely good news for people as the council was not in a position to make the repairs needed to the properties.
"It will also be good for people who don't live in council houses if the quality of the housing stock is increased."
Six out of 15 places on the management board of Hyndburn Homes will be held by tenants, including vice-chairman Barbara Ibbetson, who said: "I believe this is wonderful news for tenants and I want to prove they were right to put their trust in us.
"As well as our pledge for work in the first five years, we have developed a detailed financial plan covering the next 30 years."
There was a turnout of 72.3 per cent in the ballot which was overseen by an independent organisation, Electoral Reform Services.
The decision was ratified by the ruling Cabinet at a special meeting on Tuesday.