South Tyneside Council follows nearby Newcastle City Council in moving management of its stock in-house

South Tyneside Council has decided to close its arm’s length management organisation, South Tyneside Homes, after 18 years.


Source: South Tyneside Homes

The council said that the decision, made at cabinet last week, aims to streamline the delivery of housing services and ensure compliance with new legal and regulatory duties.

The change means the council will take over the management of 16,500 homes, while South Tyneside Homes staff will be transferred to the council.

South Tyneside Homes was established in 2006 to enable the council to access the government’s Decent Homes Fund.

However, as the funding no longer exists, and with changes to regulations and the sector facing increasing financial challenges, the council decided to reassess the use of a separate organisation for the delivery of housing services.

>> See also: Regulator of Social Housing finalises new consumer standards and regulatory approach

>> See also: South Yorkshire ALMO appoints new boss

The move to bring housing stock managed by South Tyneside Homes back in-house was first announced in December. 

The council’s announcement on the closure of its ALMO notes that from 1 April, the Regulator of Social Housing will introduce four new consumer standards and hold all social landlords to account with regular inspections.

Jim Foreman, lead member for housing and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Having that direct relationship will result in better communication and accountability, ensuring a transparent and responsive service which involves and empowers tenants. Bringing all housing services together also means we can make better use of resources.”

Foreman added: “We had to consider if there was a more effective and efficient way of delivering housing services.

“Bringing all our housing services together will help us to build on our achievements and ensure compliance with our new legal and regulatory duties.”

In December, Newcastle City Council announced that it would be closing its ALMO, Your Homes Newcastle, after 20 years.

The council said that due to financial and regulatory changes in the sector, they needed to find the most effective and efficienct way to deliver services to tenants and “get more from every pound we spend”. 

At their peak, there were around 70 ALMOs managing half of the council homes in England. Once Newcastle City Council and South Tyneside Council’s ALMOs have closed, there will be 17.