Future of Brent’s council housing to be discussed
A report seeking approval to begin a 12 week consultation with residents regarding the arrangements for the future management of Brent's own housing will be discussed by Brent Council's Cabinet later this month.
Housing management services for Brent are currently delivered by Brent Housing Partnership (BHP), an arm's length management organisation (ALMO) which was set-up in by the Council in 2002.
In June, Cabinet commissioned a review of the current arrangements because of the challenges presented by the Government's housing reforms, cuts to welfare benefits and demand for housing in the borough continuing to outstrip supply. The review was also a response to concerns with BHP's performance.
The options considered under the review were to continue with BHP on a reformed basis, to bring housing management back under direct council control, or to set up a partnership with another housing provider to deliver the service.
The recommendation being presented to Cabinet is to bring the service back in-house so it is directly under the council's control. If the report is approved it will trigger a 12 week consultation, from November 2016 to February 2017, with all 12,000 council tenants and leaseholders being invited for their views. The results of the consultation will then be considered by Cabinet who will make a final decision on future housing management service arrangements next year.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Our number one concern is to look out for the interests of Brent tenants and leaseholders and after careful consideration, the recommendation being presented to us is to bring housing management back under direct council control.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at BHP for their efforts over the past 14 years. We hope to build on their good work if we bring this service back in house but we await the results of the consultation with tenants and leaseholders first, who deserve nothing but the best."
Joanne Drew, BHP's Board Chair, said: "BHP will continue to work with the council to secure the best possible outcomes for current and future tenants and leaseholders in Brent, and drive service improvements during the consultation period. I'd like to thank tenants, the staff team and the Board - along with council colleagues for the work to transform housing services so they are fit for the future."