Headlines: November 26th, 2002

Council tenants who take over managing their own housing estates can achieve high quality services at reasonable costs, according to an independent report.Research by a team from Oxford Brookes University, carried out for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, found that more than half of Tenant Management Organisations also make a big contribution to regenerating the areas in which they live.

The report says that although the tenants’ organizations operate on estates with histories of under-investment and poor services, many of them had been able to outperform their local council on a range of performance indicators. It contains detailed information on site security and measures like-for-like the management of repairs, lettings and rent collection, tenancy management,ground maintenance and cleaning.

People living in areas run by a Tenant Management Organisation are reported  to be more satisfied with their housing services in terms of repairs, re-lets, and rent collection compared with council tenants as a whole. Seventy-seven percent of TMO tenants said they were satisfied compared with sixty-seven percent of people in housing managed by local authorities.

The report also dispels the idea that TMOs are soft on rent collection and managing tenants, and says they often act sooner, combining an assertive approach with preventative work, such as involvement with credit unions and activities for young people.

The Housing Minister, Tony McNulty, said the research showed what ordinary tenants could achieve when they combined to deal with their problems locally. “There are already over 200 TMOs managing around 85,000 homes in 53councils in England. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will continue to support groups of tenants who want to take on the management of their own homes,” he said.