Tenants are to be at the heart of the new structures for managing council houses in Leeds.
The Council have already decided that the three “ALMOs” – Aire Valley Homes, West North West Homes and East North East Homes – are to be merged into one organisation. A consultation, Your Home Your Say, is currently under way to discuss whether that should be an ALMO or whether housing should be brought back with the Council itself. Twenty tenants attended a meeting this week in Middleton to discuss the issues.
Under both options a board made up of tenants, independent members and councillors will manage the organisation. Andrew Feldhouse, independent board member at Aire Valley Homes said:
“Tenant input is crucial. It raises expectations and aspirations for staff and management as well as other tenants. A balanced board is very important, we need input from councillors, tenants and independents.”
Neil Evans, Director of Neighbourhoods and Housing at Leeds City Council, explained that the service was not facing the same cuts as other parts of the council. The labyrinthine housing finance regulations have been simplified so that the service will be funded by the rents collected in Leeds.
There will be some savings by merging three management teams, but front line staffing posts will not be cut. Any savings will be reinvested in better services or new housing.
Chairing the meeting, Mike Weston from the Leeds Tenants Federation, urged tenants to join the 8,000 that have already returned their survey forms. 55% of Aire Valley Homes have their own Tenants & Residents Association, he urged tenants to get involved at any level.
“Be more involved tomorrow than you were yesterday,” he said.
- 9:00am Holbeck Moor
- 10:45am Middleton
- 1:00pm Hamara Healthy Living Centre
- 2:45pm Cardinal Square