ALMO to take control of more council services
An arms-length management organisation is to take control of housing services for the whole of a local authority area following an agreement with the council.
Barnet Homes will take over responsibility for housing needs and resources services from Barnet Council on 1 April this year after the proposal was given the go-ahead at a committee meeting last night (Monday 16 January).
Only housing strategy will remain under the council’s control.
The change means the 15,000-home landlord will now be responsible for advising customers on housing issues and assessing whether those who have, or about to, become homeless are eligible for housing in the private or social housing sector.
The ALMO will also become responsible for maintaining the supply of these properties and for managing temporary accommodation.
The council has also agreed to create a new sister company for Barnet Homes, called Your Choice Barnet and a parent company called The Barnet Group.
Your Choice Barnet will go live on 1 February - along with The Barnet Group - and will provide support to adults with physical and learning disabilities, while at the same time receiving finance and IT support itself from Barnet Homes.
Existing council staff working for the housing and adult social services, will transfer to the relevant organisations under ‘TUPE’ arrangements.
Tracey Lees, chief executive of Barnet Homes will become chief executive for the group while each company will have its own board with resident and service user representatives.
Ms Lees said: ‘These decisions are a resounding endorsement not only of what we’ve achieved at Barnet Homes over the past seven years, but also of the flexibility of the ALMO model.
‘We’re proud of our record of making substantial year-on-year business efficiencies while overseeing increased resident satisfaction with our services.
‘We’re confident we can have a similar impact with Your Choice Barnet, with the additional housing services and with other organisations that may come into The Barnet Group over time.’