Lewisham Council considering options for the future of housing management
The committee will discuss a report that considers how best to manage 19,000 homes currently managed by Lewisham Homes. The options include bringing these responsibilities back in house, to be managed by the Council.
The report has been prepared in light of changes that will give landlords new and different legal responsibilities. It also coincides with a break clause in the contract between the Council and Lewisham Homes.
Lewisham Homes was established by the Council as an Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) in 2007. At the time, additional grants and funding were made available for ALMOs to invest in meeting the Decent Homes standard. This funding is no longer available.
New legislation is set to be introduced later this year. Following the Grenfell fire tragedy, the new regulations will strengthen the existing accountability landlords have for providing safe homes, quality services and for their performance as a landlord. These responsibilities cannot be transferred to an ALMO.
Cllr Sophie Davis, Cabinet Member for Housing Management and Homelessness, said: “With changes in legislation and funding, now is the right time for us to consider how council-owned homes are managed in Lewisham. This is the first step in these discussions; we will be consulting with residents on any proposed changes, and making sure we hear their views about how their homes are managed. Alongside this work, we’ll also be further investing in our stock to fix repairs and improve standards.”
Following the Housing Select Committee meeting, the report and any recommendations will be discussed at a meeting of Mayor and Cabinet in July. Any decision made by Mayor and Cabinet will be subject to consultation with Lewisham Homes’ tenants and leaseholders.