Inside Housing – News – London council recommends bringing housing services in-house

A break clause in a 10-year management agreement between Lewisham Homes and the council, agreed in 2017, allows the local authority to terminate the agreement with six months’ notice before December 27, 2022.

“With changes in legislation and funding, the time has come for us to review how council-owned homes are managed in Lewisham,” said Sophie Davis, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Housing Management and the Homeless. shelter.

She said these discussions are the “first step”, while the council will consult with residents later.

The council established Lewisham Homes in 2007 and received government funding of £100m to meet the Decent Homes standard, funding which is no longer available.

In a joint statement, Ainsley Forbes, who chairs the board of Lewisham Homes, and Margaret Dodwell, its chief executive, said the creation of ALMO was encouraged at the time and “was the vehicle for councils to ‘access additional funds to improve the houses’.

“However, things have changed a lot since then; additional funding is no longer available and there are also enhanced regulatory and legislative requirements for social landlords, for which the council is directly responsible.

“We are committed to working jointly with the council to consider how best to provide services in the future,” they said, adding that “the priority remains to work together to provide the best possible service to our tenants and tenants. , and ensuring continuity for our employees.”

The report was presented to the council’s housing select committee on Monday and will be discussed in more detail at a mayor and cabinet meeting in July.

If the move goes through, Lewisham will become the latest in a list of councils ending their ALMOs.

There are currently 25 in England, a steadily declining number since 2010.

Nottingham City Council is taking action to bring its ALMO in-house after an investigation found £40million of its Housing Income Account was misspent.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) firm recently backed the termination of its ALMO in favor of a new housing management model.

Last February, Haringey Council in north London began the process of closing its ALMO and repatriating around 15,000 homes.

This followed the same decision by Gateshead Council the year before. East Kent Housing was liquidated the same year, while Kirklees Council also opted to close its ALMO.

Manchester City Council’s Northwards Housing is also expected to be closed.

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