So will more ALMOs close so councils take back control of their own housing stock. It’s a question that’s being asked more regularly now due to recent closures over the last year.
ALMO stands for Arms Length Management Organisation and they are used by councils to manage their housing portfolio. The first ALMOs were created in 2002 after the ‘decent homes’ funding was announced for refurbishing social housing that didn’t meet a standard. It also was created to give tenants a greater say about their homes. Many councils signed up to this programme so they could secure the funding and have it managed.
ALMOs close, why is there an increase in this statistic?
Over the last few years, we have seen ALMOs close and a reduction in them being used by councils to manage their housing stock. Currently, there are 29 ALMOS registered with the National Federation of ALMOS down from 70 at the ALMO programme’s height in 2010.
There has been a decline in the amount of ALMOs due to councils having completed their decent homes programmes and wondering whether ALMOs serve a purpose for them after.
Andrew Smith at Westminster Council spoke to inside housing and revealed that the reason that got rid of their ALMO, CityWest homes was because of residents’ feedback. They said that they received poor customer service and complaints and repairs not being dealt with. They say they now have a better relationship with their tenants and their tenants feel like the service has improved.
Are ALMOs beneficial to housing?
The Decent Homes programme has been a success for many ALMOs with over 1 million properties being brought up to decent standards the government had set out. This is therefore beneficial to housing as it means there is more affordable housing stock available.
The main role of ALMOs now is to manage and improve the council’s housing stock. ALMOs can be beneficial to organisations who do not have the time or resources to bring the housing stock back in house.
Do you think council’s removing their ALMO and dealing with their stock in-house is a good idea?