The London Borough of Hillingdon has returned housing management to the council from its arms length management organisation (ALMO) after being the first authority in the country to decide to make such a move.
The official transfer took place on Friday 1 October and housing management is now under the control of the council.
Before formalising the decision, an independent test of opinion with residents was run at the end of last year. From the postal survey, of which there were 1,249 responses, 942 were in favour of returning housing management to the council. 44 were opposed. A similar telephone survey contacted 1,300 residents of whom 610 were in favour of returning to the council and 57 opposed.
Hillingdon Homes was set up in 2003 to manage the council’s tenancies. The council say it has delivered good service performance (two star) and high tenant satisfaction, and that a substantial stock investment programme has secured the Decent Homes standard with the help of £60m funding from Government. Now this programme is complete, Hillingdon Council has been looking at the best way of further improving services for residents as well as where money can be saved.
Cllr Philip Corthorne, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, said: “Changes in flexibilities and freedoms promised by the Government for ALMOs have not materialised but freedoms around borrowing and new build have been extended to local authorities. We have had to deal with the impact of the economic recession and severely restricted budgets means we cannot justify running a separate company to manage housing when we could do it in-house.”
See previous coverage.