On the 11th January 2012 Shropshire Council's Cabinet approved a report to transform Housing Landlord Services. With the implementation of self-financing in April 2012 it was the right time to consider the future management arrangements for council housing. We then went ahead and developed the proposal to form an ALMO (arm's-length management organisation), whereby Shropshire Council retains the housing stock and controls the allocation policy, but a separate company is created to manage and improve the service.
In April 2012 Shropshire Council’s main tenant group the Oswestry TWG appointed PS Consultants as an Independent Tenant Advisor (ITA) to consult with tenants over the summer about setting up a separate Council owned housing company to manage Council owned homes. They would operate as an ALMO.
The consultation is now complete and tenants have responded. 48.9% of respondents said they were "broadly in favour" of setting up an ALMO with 24.9% against. A copy of the report and a redacted (had all personal details removed) copy of the individual responses are attached at the bottom of this page.
Below you will find a link to PS Consultants' web page and all details of the consultation, including a copy of each of the newsletters that have been sent out to all tenants. These include a timetable of meetings and drop ins that have taken place in your area.
Following the consultation, Cabinet met on the 14th November to consider the report from PS Consultants and gave the go ahead to set up an ALMO. This decision was endorsed at Full Council on Thursday 22nd November 2012.
The next steps
We aim to have the new ALMO set up and running by April 2013. Now that the consultation has been completed and the ALMO has received Cabinet and Full Council approval we need to carry out work to substantively agree a management agreement between the ALMO and Shropshire Council and the Board’s constitution. Once this has been done we can seek final HCA approval in early January 2013.
The constitution is now available (see link below), if you would like to make some comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 20th January.
We have as part of this work set up a shell Company called 'Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing Limited'. We have also approved a draft Constitution for the Company but this may be changed following any further comments. Early next year we will begin the recruitment process for the ALMO’s Board.
The Draft Management Agreement
The draft management agreement is also now available, as is the draft specification of the services that the ALMO will manage that will form part of the management agreement (see attachment below). If you would like to make a comment please email email@example.com by 22nd January.
We are also running a series of meetings with tenants in early January (as outlined in the ITA newsletter sent in December). You can make comments and ask questions about either the Constitution or the draft management agreement at the meetings or raise any other questions that you may have about the setting up of the ALMO.
Tenant Board Members
We are currently recruiting five tenant board members for the ALMO management Board. The closing date for applications is Friday 8th February. The application form, role description and other relevant documentation is at the bottom of this page.
Frequently asked questions
What is an ALMO?
The council retains the housing stock and controls the allocation policy, but a separate company is created to manage and improve the service. Currently around half of landlords with council-owned stock manage their homes through an ALMO.
Will the service we receive be better or worse from an ALMO?
ALMOs have a track record of developing high-quality innovative services focused on service delivery to the needs of tenants and their communities, monitored by a board that includes tenants. Shropshire Council will monitor the performance of the ALMO under the terms of the contract.
When will it be set up?
Once the ALMO gets the required approval from the HCA it will be set up by April 2013.
Where will the ALMO be based?
The main office based in Shrewsbury but our local offices in Oswestry & Bridgnorth will remain the same.
Will my Rent change?
The way that your rent is calculated will not change. Shropshire Council will still be your landlord and will continue to set rents. The ALMO will not affect your entitlement to claim Housing Benefit.
Who do I pay my rent to & where will this money go?
You will continue to pay your rent to Shropshire Council and this money will pay for housing services and the ALMOs running costs (in the same way it currently does for Landlord Services at Shropshire Council). The ALMO will be a not for profit organisation any surplus generated will be re-invested into providing housing services.
Will my rights as a tenant change?
The rights outlined in your tenancy agreement will not change because of the ALMO.
Please follow the various links below for different information about the ALMO and the consultation that has taken place.