A NEW campaign is to find the best way of spending £38million to bring the borough's housing up to Government standards.

Rossendale Council will launch its Home Choice campaign next week - a detailed plan looking how the authority's homes should be managed in the future.

Council bosses revealed around £38 million needs to be spent to get the homes to the Government's Decent Homes Standard - but it already faces a £14million shortfall.

There are four options for the future running of homes and tenants are to be consulted before any decision is made.

Lynn Hurrell, head of housing at the council, said: "The Home Choice campaign will give tenants all the information about the four options via a series of newsletters, and we will consult them about their preferred choice through meetings and events, surveys and telephone research."

She added that the favourable options would help make up the shortfall. She added: "We have got a deadline of July 2005 so we hope to have all the consultations and the preferred option decided by the end of the year."

The authority will collate the feedback to be considered by a steering group of tenants and councillors. It plans to pick its preferred option in October.

The four options available:

The council remaining landlord,

The creation of an arm's length management organisation (ALMO),

The transfer to a not-for-profit housing organisation,

Or a private finance initiative (PFI).

Once the preferred option has been chosen, the council will submit a report on the consultation process to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.