Councils and ALMOs face snap inspections
Plans for short notice housing association inspections are being extended to councils and arm’s-length management organisations.
The Audit Commission is consulting on a pilot scheme for local authority landlords and ALMOs, following a successful trial with housing associations that finished earlier in the year.
The pilot will run from January to April 2009, and will operate in a similar way to the housing association pilot. A report will then go to the Audit Commission board in June or July, before a decision is made on whether to go ahead with the programme.
Landlords will be told five days before an inspection takes place. The pilots will look at the effect of the short notice inspections, how they fit in with other assessments, and specific areas such as how tenants might be able to trigger visits.
In the case of local authority housing services, the commission also wants to look at how it could introduce short notice inspections for non-landlord services, such as those working with homeless people.
If they are rolled out, the short notice inspections will not replace other forms of inspection. The paper states: ‘Short notice inspections would usually be targeted at weaker performing areas and where there is identified risk.’
The consultation is open until 1 December.