Tenant Consultation & A1 Housing
Bassetlaw District Council is consulting with its tenants and leaseholders over proposals to bring the management of its housing stock back to the Council - a move that could generate savings of £335,000 each year.
Council Housing in Bassetlaw has been managed by the Arms-Length Management Organisation (ALMO), A1 Housing since 2004. It was created by the Council to deliver the Government funded Decent Homes programme, which ended in 2012.
The Council’s proposals would see A1 Housing staff and services, such as repairs, rent collection and estate maintenance, transferred back to Bassetlaw District Council, with the objective that this will provide savings to invest in the services that matter to tenants.
The consultation, which is being conducted by independent researchers Ipsos MORI, will ask tenants and leaseholders if they support or oppose this transfer of services, in addition to asking tenants and leaseholders which housing services they would like to see more money invested in.
Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said:
“A1 Housing has done a great job over the last 13 years, in addition to improving tenant’s homes through the Government’s Decent Homes programme. However, since 2012, nearly half of all Council owned housing companies, such as ALMOs, have returned to Council control and the situation in Bassetlaw is a reflection of what is happing across the Country.”
“Bringing the management of Council Housing back in-house will save around £335,000 a year, allowing us to provide opportunities for more money to be invested into things that matter to tenants, such as repairs, estate improvements and housing support.”
“This proposal will allow us to build on the £300,000 of savings the Council has already made over the last 12 months by transferring a number of support services like Customer Services and Finance, back from A1 Housing.”
As the Landlord, the Council’s proposals will not change or affect Tenancy Agreements or tenant’s and leaseholder’s rights and responsibilities. In addition, Council rents will continue to be set in accordance with Council Policy and National Legislation.
As part of the proposals tenants and leaseholders will be able to put forward their views on the way housing services are being managed through a Housing Advisory Group. This new group will complement the excellent work of existing tenant groups such as the A1 Hundred Club and BATRA, and will give tenants a similar role to the tenant representatives on the current A1 Housing Board.
Your questions answered regarding the consultation.
|Q.||How do I take part in the consultation?|
|A.||Ipsos MORI will be sending every tenant and leaseholder a consultation questionnaire. If you would like more information on this survey, please contact the Ipsos MORI helpline on 0808 141 3052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Q.||Will bringing A1 Housing’ services back under Council control affect my tenancy rights?|
|A.||No. This is just a proposed change to housing management arrangements and will not affect tenancy agreements or tenants’ rights and responsibilities.|
|Q.||Will I still receive the same help with issues such as repairs and maintenance, Anti-Social Behaviour and general customer care and tenancy related issues?|
|A.||Yes. Tenants shouldn’t notice any difference in their housing services.|
|Q.||Why is Bassetlaw District Council proposing to bring services provided by A1 Housing back in house?|
A1 Housing was set up in 2004 to access government money under the Decent Homes programme. This funding ended in 2012 and bringing A1 Housing back in house could save £335,000 a year, enabling more money to be invested into things that matter to tenants, like estate improvements.
Since 2012 Councils across the Country have been bringing their Housing companies back in house with the number of ALMOS decreasing from 69 to 33 in the last six years.
|Q.||Will my rent increase as a direct result of the proposed change?|
|A.||No. Rents will continue to be set by Bassetlaw District Council in exactly the same way.|
|Q.||What will happen to A1 Housing staff?|
|A.||A1 Housing staff will transfer to Bassetlaw District Council. A number of services such as Customer Services, Finance, HR and IT have already returned to the Council in 2017.|
|Q.||Are you sure that this will save money?|
|A.||Yes. The savings figures have been provided by an external specialist Housing consultancy called Savills Housing Ltd. The Council has already bought Finance, HR and other services back in house in 2017, generating an initial saving of £300,000.|