Thu, 24 May 2012
A unique management agreement that will see Hounslow Homes continue to manage Hounslow Council’s housing stock has been signed.
The agreement is the first of its kind in the country to set out how the council, Hounslow Homes and tenants representatives will work together to manage and maintain the council’s homes on behalf of 16,000 tenants and leaseholders.
The agreement includes a protocol that will see the Hounslow Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations (HFTRA) becoming directly involved in delivering improvements to services that will benefit tenants and leaseholders.
To ensure strong oversight, an independent tenant scrutiny board is being set up to strengthen tenants’ influence in how their homes and neighbourhoods are run.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for education, housing and corporate HR, said: "Since 2002, millions of pounds have been invested in improving the condition of our housing stock, making a massive difference to the lives of thousands of local families.
"The new agreement will build on this success and provide even more services for the people that matter – our 13,400 tenants and 2,500 leaseholders.
"Their views have helped shape the terms of the final management agreement, which means they will have an even greater say in how services are delivered efficiently and effectively in future."
The agreement reflects Hounslow Homes becoming an optimised ALMO, and can now develop and provide services to outside organisations to generate additional income.
Bernadette O' Shea, chief executive of Hounslow Homes, said: “Hounslow Homes is a thriving local social enterprise so we are delighted that the London Borough of Hounslow, with the support of HFTRA, has decided to sign up to this new contract.
“This marks the start of a new phase in the work of Hounslow Homes, with tenants and leaseholders having a stronger say on our board and in our tripartite arrangements with the council. We are determined to continue to improve our offer to local residents.
“We have aspirations to offer more services to the council and to find new customers for our unique blend of services.”
Dave Cox, chairman of HFTRA, said: “We have worked closely as equal partners with both the council and Hounslow Homes on the agreement, which ensures that the residents have a voice in shaping the future of our housing services.
“We feel empowered and excited about this unique tri-partite agreement, which we have worked hard to achieve, because it enables us to make a real difference.
“Alongside the management agreement we have reviewed our constitution and structures to ensure we are fit to meet the new opportunities, making sure all tenants and leaseholders have a voice and a role as we start this new beginning.”