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Consultation on housing management services

Lewisham Homes tenants and leaseholders will soon be consulted on the option of bringing housing management services back in-house.

At a meeting on 6 July 2022, Mayor and Cabinet agreed to consult Lewisham Homes tenants and leaseholders on the option to bring housing management services back in-house. They will also be asked about their priorities for their home and what improvements could be made to the service they receive.

The consultation will take place later in the summer and autumn, and will be shaped by early conversations with tenants and leaseholders to make sure the right questions are asked and as many people as possible are reached.

Read more about the decision to consult tenants and leaseholders on bringing housing management services back in-house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the review happening?

The management agreement between the Council and Lewisham Homes includes a break clause which gives the Council an opportunity to consider whether it wants Lewisham Homes to continue to provide housing management services. The agreement requires the Council to give notice before the end of 2022.

The break clause provides an opportunity to consider how best to deliver - and improve – our housing management services. We want to improve services for residents, increase democratic accountability and strengthen resident voices.

What’s changed since the agreement with Lewisham Homes was signed?

When Lewisham Homes was established in 2007, additional funds were available for ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) to apply for. There are no longer any financial incentives for ALMOs.

The Government is also bringing in new legislation and regulations which set out the responsibilities the Council has as landlord for the service provided to tenants and their safety, which cannot be transferred to Lewisham Homes

What happens next?

Following agreement by Mayor and Cabinet on 6 July, a consultation to seek the views of tenants and leaseholders will be carried out. Work on this is now underway and we expect to begin the consultation later in the summer/early autumn.

Do residents have a say?

Yes - residents, tenants and leaseholders will be consulted and their views will be considered. Information will be provided and there will be a chance for all Lewisham Homes tenants and leaseholders to ask questions and make their views known.

This feedback will form an important part of the options appraisal, and will help Mayor and Cabinet to make a decision at the end of the year.

What is the position of the Lewisham Homes Board?

The Lewisham Homes Board supports the Council’s decision to carry out this work to ensure the best possible services for tenants and leaseholders.

What changes would tenants and leaseholders see?

We want to make sure tenants and leaseholders receive the best possible services, and that their homes are well managed and safe.

You would still see the same caretakers and repairs staff, who would be transferred over to the Council, but we believe that bringing services back in house would allow the Council to provide a more joined-up service and increase accountability.

As part of the consultation we will be asking people about their priorities for their homes and what improvements they want to see.

Have other councils brought their ALMOs in house?

The number of ALMOs has been reducing and only four London boroughs - including Lewisham - still have an ALMO.

What are the timescales for any potential changes?

Residents will be consulted over the summer and early autumn.

A final decision will take place before the end of the year.

Will any changes affect rent levels and tenancy agreements?

No, these will continue to be set by the Council in the same way they are set now. Tenancy agreements are with the Council and will not change.

If the service is brought back to the Council, how will the views of tenants and leaseholders be heard?

The Council wants to ensure that tenants and leaseholders are involved in how their homes are managed going forward. If the service is brought back to the Council alternative arrangements will be developed to replace the Lewisham Homes Board to ensure good engagement with the Council.

Would bringing housing management in-house save or cost more money?

Currently, some costs are duplicated, so bringing housing management back in-house could result in some efficiencies.