Consultation on homes service insourcing move

Council wants to bring Homes for Haringey under its direct control, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Homes for Haringey
Homes for Haringey has managed the borough’s council housing stock since 2006

Thousands of tenants and leaseholders in Haringey will be able to have their say on plans to bring a housing service back under the council’s direct control.

The council believes insourcing housing arm Homes for Haringey will improve the service and give residents more say in how it operates, as well as providing better value for money.

Set up in 2006 to access a government funding stream, Homes for Haringey employs around 750 people and manages more than 20,000 properties in the borough.

But with the reasons behind the establishment of arm’s-length management organisations no longer applying, fewer than 30 remain in operation.

A proposal to insource the service was set out in January by then-leader Joseph Ejiofor. Cabinet members agreed to hold a consultation on the move during a meeting on Thursday, 22nd July.

Julie Davies, cabinet member for employment, skills and corporate services, told the meeting: “The division between the council and Homes for Haringey has become increasingly artificial and could now be said to be hampering the smooth running of housing service and delivery of new council homes.

“What is also clear is that the council cannot be seen to be in any way divorced from its roles and responsibilities. Legislation is changing after the Grenfell tragedy and for other reasons, and we have to respond to those.”

The cabinet report sets out a plan for a minimum eight-week consultation, including focus groups and a questionnaire sent out to all tenants and leaseholders.

The council will also carry out a review of the service and consult with staff on the changes. It has set out plans for a housing sounding board and residents’ forum to increase the involvement of tenants and leaseholders in the running of the service.

Cabinet members unanimously approved the consultation.