29
September
2013
|
00:00
Europe/London

Housing services for council tenants move back in house


Leeds City Council will take on the responsibility for the management of council housing stock at the start of October.



At a meeting of the council’s executive board earlier this year it was agreed that the council will be the sole landlord for its housing stock, taking over responsibility for all arm’s length management organisation (ALMO) functions, including overall management, engagement with tenants and responsibility for any repair work needed.



The decision to create the new service, ‘ Housing Leeds’, came after an extensive review of all aspects of housing management, and a consultation with 70,000 tenants and other interested groups.



On October 1 the ALMOs will come to an end and all their staff will transfer to Leeds City Council. Tenants don’t need to do anything differently - the staff, the phone numbers, offices and emails - will stay exactly the same for now, and plenty of notice will be given before any change does happen.



Since the ALMOs were created, almost a decade ago, there has been a significant change to housing services, but also to how the council works. . In those ten years, 26,713 kitchens have been installed, 15,133 bathrooms and 30,887 windows replaced, with over £850million spent on council housing stock. The changes offer an opportunity to ensure that all tenants, irrespective of where they live, receive a consistent, value for money and high quality housing management service



As part of the new changes, a housing management board has been set up to agree the strategic direction for the management of council housing, oversee investment plans and monitor

performance. It will retain a mix of political, independent and tenant members, building on the successful model that has served the tenants well.



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



“As the council housing service moves into council control we will work hard to ensure that areas of existing best practice are replicated across the city to ensure we don’t lose what works well, but will also look to offer the best possible service to all tenants and leaseholders.



“The new service will offer greater consistency across the city and investment in areas where it is most needed. We will be a “listening” organisation which involves a partnership approach with tenants, elected members, contractors and other agencies.



“As we make these changes alongside the impact of the government’s welfare agenda, it is even more important that we strengthen tenant engagement and local delivery arrangements to ensure that we meet the needs of all tenants.



“We will off course keep all tenants up to date with any new changes to the housing service, but for now all contact details remain the same should they have any questions.”



Notes to editors:



The three Leeds ALMOs include West North West Homes Leeds, Aire Valley Homes and East North East Homes Leeds.



Ends



For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk