Tuesday 11 April 2017

'In-house' management of council housing favoured in Brent Council survey - Full Council debate April 20th

There will be a Special Brent Full Council meeting on Thursday April 20th, 7pm Civic Centre, to consider the outcome of the survey of council tenants and leaseholders on options for the future management of council housing in the borough.

2,937 residents responded to the survey (26% return) to consider the options:
a. Continue with Brent Hoising Partnership on a reformed basis
b. Bring the service back in-house under direct control of the council
c. Enter into partnership with another organisation to provide the service
49.1% of respondents supported option b with 55.6% of lease holders and 47.3% of tenants in favour.

After debate at Full Council the proposal to bring the service in-house will go to Cabineton Monday April 24th.

The decision will be made against the background of a deficit in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and further 'savings' and 'transformation' will be necessary:

  1. The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget is £56.1m and is used for the management and maintenance of the HRA stock and for the repayment of the HRA debt. The HRA is a ring fenced account. The BHP Management Fee for the current year is £7.5m. This fee is for managing and maintaining the HRA properties on behalf of the Council. Core management costs, including this fee are £12.5m per annum.
  2. 12.2  The Housing and Planning Act 2016 will have a significant impact on Brent’s Council housing and its financial position in coming years. The implications for which are continuously being reviewed with more comprehensive analysis to follow once the details are published by Government.
  3. 12.3  Based on current assumptions and changes in the Housing and Planning Act,
    an efficiency savings target of circa £3.6m would be required to balance the HRA if the current assumptions on changes materialise.

  4. 12.4  The savings to the HRA upon the initial implementation of the in-house housing management service are estimated to be £1m pa. These are provisional figures and will be refined as planning for the implementation of the selected option is progressed.
  5. 12.5  The decision to bring the housing management service in-house alone is not sufficient to cover the gap without wider transformation. This, then, reinforces the need for further transformation in the service.
I hope councillors will explore what 'transformation' could involve when they debate the proposal.

AGENDA For Ful Council Meeting


The Council owns almost 11,500 homes, mostly flats on small and medium-sized estates, with around 7,700 tenants and 3,700 leaseholders. Around 43,000 people live in these homes - over 1 in 8 of Brent’s population. Around a third of tenants are over 60, 4% have a disability and 8% have a vulnerability of some kind. The Council is responsible for management and maintenance services and has delegated these to BHP since 2002, under a Management Agreement. BHP is a company with a Board of 13 people comprising residents, Councillors and independent persons with an independent chair. BHP provides all landlord services, directly or through contracts, including:
Tenancy Management – e.g. lettings, rent collection, resident engagement,
Right to Buy and the oversight of two Tenant Management Organisations.
Leaseholder Management – e.g. service charges and major works.
     Property services – e.g. estate management, repairs and major works
    Development services – the delivery of a new-build programme on existing estates

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