Council calls time on ALMO after five years
A council is ending its contract with its arm’s-length management organisation five years early and bringing management of its stock back in house.
Charnwood Council’s cabinet has voted to transfer the management of its 6,000 homes back to the council from ALMO Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing.
The move is intended to save £638,000 a year, and follows the government’s decision to end the link between ALMOs and access to funding to improve the condition of housing stock.
CNH was set up in 2007 with a 10-year-contract to manage the council stock. This included an option to break the contract in June 2012.
It ran into difficulties in 2009 after making a £630,000 loss in 2008/09, forcing it to cut back on repairs and maintenance spending. In 2010 it failed to secure the two-star rating from the Audit Commission required to access decent homes funding.
The council has decided to take housing management back in house following an analysis of potential savings carried out by CIH Consulting. It also conducted a poll of tenants, and found 75 per cent favoured a move back to full council control.
Jane Hunt, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We already have a plan to invest £60 million in our housing stock over the next five years. By bringing it back under our direct control we can maximise every penny of that investment.
‘We are absolutely committed to ensuring tenants are involved in the new organisation and will not notice any break in service during the transition.’
The move back to council control is expected to take between three and nine months, with CNH staff being transferred to the local authority.