Council housing management to be brought in-house

A report is due to go to the council’s executive board in June recommending that Aire Valley Homes be wound up and that council housing returns to being managed directly by the council.

Almo consultation leafletAs previously reported on South Leeds Life, the Council has been consulting tenants and others about changes to the way council housing in the city is managed.

As part of an eight week process, all 70,000 council tenants received consultation packs as well as being given the opportunity to attend public meetings and road shows about the possible future for housing management services in Leeds.

Just over 60% of the returned responses expressed a preference for all housing services to be provided by the council, compared to 20.9% preferring a single ALMO option and 18.2% who were undecided. Over 82% felt that it is important that they can be involved in how their housing is run.

The proposals will not affect homes in Belle Isle managed by Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation (BITMO).

Under the plans, services on the ground will be delivered much as they are now and housing managemnt will be overseen by a Board comprising councilors, tenants and independent members.

A report will be presented to the June executive board recommending to approve the proposal of moving forward with the plans and logistics around bringing the services in-house.

Councillor Keith Wakefield
Councillor Keith Wakefield

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We have had a good response from tenants and other stakeholders, and will continue to work with them through these next stages of implementation. I would like to thank all those who took part in the various roadshows and workshops for their input.

“We want our tenants to feel they are getting a quality service whilst realising savings at a time of economic pressure, which has been one of the key focuses of the consultation. These savings can then be reinvested in housing stock and delivering frontline support for tenants.”

Cllr Peter Gruen
Cllr Peter Gruen

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“It is clear both from the public meetings and the consultation results that tenants value locally delivered services and that this must be protected in any future model. We are also committed to tenants continuing to have a significant role in how housing management services are provided and will establish a board with tenant representation to make sure this happens.

“I want to assure staff and tenants that we will continue to work closely with them following consideration and agreement by executive board on the way forward.”

3 Replies to “Council housing management to be brought in-house”

  1. This is not a surprise given the more radical and interesting options weren’t put out to consultation.

    Cllrs Wakefield and Gruen stress the two critical issues: ensuring any financial savings are re-invested in services for council tenants (and don’t leak away elsewhere) and that tenant involvement is given real power and does not become (remain?!) tokenistic.

    1. Steve,
      Very interested to find out what those ‘radical and more interesting options’ were?

  2. Lucy

    Further Tenant Management Organisations along the lines of Belle Isle – when I last looked at performance data they were at least as good as the ALMOs.

    One ALMO with strengthened local management arrangements which could really reflect local issues.

    Detailed consideration of innovative potential stock transfer models which protect local accountability but separate management of the housing stock from the Council’s other responsibilities.

    I don’t think you can effectively and sensitively manage 50,000 plus tenancies without lots of delegation and I don’t think the Council will find an effective way of balancing one uniform Leeds wide policy with appropriate responses to local issues.

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