Thursday, 28 May 2015

Council takes ALMO back in house

A London council is taking its arm’s-length management organisation back in house this Friday with the hope of saving more than £5 million.

Ealing councillors voted in May last year to bring the service back in house after dropping plans to pass the management of the homes to private companies. The decision followed a consultation with tenants and leaseholders.  

The ALMO, Ealing Homes, was set up to deliver the council’s decent homes programme, which is expected to finish this month.

Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘Although Ealing Homes did a good job in delivering decent homes, this was a good time to take a fresh look at the service. We drew up plans to bring the service in house last year, but the final decision rested with tenants and I’m delighted they backed our proposals.’

Ealing Homes’ staff will be transferred to the council under transfer of undertakings rules and move to the local authority’s main offices. The council expects this will create significant savings on leasing office accommodation.

Mr Tailor said: ‘This will give us significant opportunities to end duplication and save money.

‘These are challenging times for housing with government funding cuts, yet over the course of the next four years we expect to save more than £5 million.’

Changes to Bolton’s ALMO, Bolton at Home, have also gone through this week. The body has become a housing association, taking ownership of the 18,000 homes it previously managed on behalf of the council. It has promised to invest £124 million in improvements over five years.

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