Stunell wants tenants involved in ALMO decisions
Councils must consult tenants when reviewing housing management arrangements, the communities minister has said.
Despite government reluctance to give councils instructions, Andrew Stunell has published updated guidance to local authorities considering bringing their arm’s-length management organisations back in house.
ALMOs were originally set up to access Decent Homes funding, but a number of the original management agreements are drawing to a close. So far, eight ALMOs have been brought back in house, with several more expected to finalise decisions shortly.
Mr Stunell said councils must consult tenants on changes to ALMOs and allow them to make a ‘meaningful contribution’ to any decisions. In cases where tenants were balloted on the formation of an ALMO, they must also be balloted when housing functions might be brought back to the council, he said.
Sue Roberts, chair of the National Federation of ALMOs, said: ‘This is a real victory for tenant empowerment and will go a long way to giving tenants a meaningful say in how their estates are managed in the future. The NFA has worked closely with the government to create these guidelines following concerns that some councils were not conducting a fair and impartial review process.
‘We hope that the strengthened guidance will remind councils of their responsibilities to place tenants at the heart of the process and to ensure that reviews are fair, open and transparent.’