The way that council homes are managed and owned in the future is to be reviewed by Manchester City Council.
Council-owned social housing in the city is predominantly managed by Northwards Housing ,an arm’s length management organisation (ALMO) – which looks after around 13,000 Council homes in the city.
The last review was conducted back in 2016 and the council says that a review will ensure high standards are met amid a fast-changing housing sector.
The exercise will ascertain the most appropriate option for how Council-owned social housing is managed in the future, with the current preferred option – subject to consultation – to bring management of these homes back in-house.
The council says that its 30-year business plan will become unviable without intervention – with the potential for the account to go in to significant deficit in the long-term – and costs around social housing must be reviewed immediately to ensure the HRA can support essential investments to the Council’s housing stock, including, continued Decent Homes-standard property improvements,further fire safety investment, and retrofitting older homes to meet carbon reduction standards.
Cllr Suzanne Richard, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “We want Manchester residents to benefit from high quality, well-managed social housing. The most recent review of the Council’s ALMO (arm’s length management organisation) was in 2016 and it is now timely that we do so again.
“Zero carbon retrofit, further fire safety investment and the need for continued investment in our existing homes brings with it huge financial challenges. It’s therefore right we should take the time to reflect on the challenges ahead and the best way to meet these.
“We cannot do this without the help of Council tenants. Alongside our refresh of the Our Manchester strategy over the weeks ahead, it’s important that we also get the views of Northwards tenants about what it is like to live in a Northwards home and what changes they want to see in the future.”
Sue Abbott, Chair of the Northwards Board,said: “Here at Northwards we are proud of what we have achieved over the last 14 years. We will continue to work tirelessly in the best interests of tenants, which is something I can say as a Council tenant of many years’ standing. We recognise that the Council needs to periodically review how best to manage and repair council-owned homes, and we will fully participate in the review to ensure that tenants’ voices are clearly heard.”