New council housing organisation paves the way for big savings

Huge changes to the way social housing in Leeds is run are starting to pay big dividends according to the latest Leeds City Council findings.

In June 2013 Leeds City Council decided to integrate housing management into the council in a way which meant that the ‘arm’s length management organisations’ (ALMOs) which had previously looked after the city’s housing stock would come back under the council’s direct control. Savings from the reorganisation of the ALMOs are already anticipated to reach £1.5 million in 2014/15, as the number of senior staff is reduced and the continuing financial benefits of integrating the three services begin to be delivered.

Projections show savings will rise to £2.4 million over the next two years and Leeds City Council have also been able to make use of over £6 million ALMO reserve funds to inject investment into the wider city capital programme. This will mean improvements for council tenants can be funded along with the council’s commitment to improving the quality of housing further and faster than previous government standards required.

With over a thousand staff moving under the council’s umbrella as the ALMOs were wound up and their business taken into the council, the council has prioritised ensuring that services were not only maintained, but built on.

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

“It has been a triumph of hard work, commitment and a desire to deliver the best for the city that has seen us moving as far and fast as we have. To have this amount of change and make sure that services don’t suffer is a real tribute to the staff and tenants involved.

“We are well on our way to making the significant savings from the reorganisation we planned, money we can reinvest in housing for the people of Leeds.”

Leeds City Council is also making sure that tenants and residents have an opportunity to have their say on the reorganisation and wider plans through an extensive engagement process. Following an extensive survey of residents, the first city-wide consultation meeting for them will take place this Thursday, 27th February.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Phil Morcom, Leeds City Council press office

Tel: 0113 394 3602

Email: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk