Headlines: December 13th, 2010

The National Federation of ALMOs, whose members manage half of all council housing in England, say tenants feel ‘very betrayed’ following new government proposals that will cut funding for the Decent Homes programme.

The Federation argues that the new proposals will place a greater strain on the viability of the construction industry, hit the elderly and other vulnerable council tenants and leave many ALMOs with a funding shortfall.

While the Association welcomes the government’s commitment to achieving Decent Homes for all social housing tenants, it is ‘extremely concerned’ about assumptions that have been made in the proposals about the ability of councils to use self-financing to bring their stock up to the standard.

Another area of concern is over proposed changes to the allocation of Decent Homes funding that will enable local authorities to bid for funding alongside ALMOs for the first time without having to undergo an inspection.

Previously ALMOs were required to achieve a 2 star ‘Good’ rating following an inspection by the Audit Commission. The NFA is concerned about the consequences of removing the link between an organisation’s performance and the availability of funding.

ALMOs will now have to compete with traditional local authorities resulting in an overall funding gap which could lead to broken promises for ALMO tenants.

Councils with ALMOs with less than 10 percent of their stock at the decent standard have effectively had their funding that was previously committed withdrawn altogether.

Alison Inman, Chair of the NFA, said: “Many of our tenants feel very betrayed by the government as promises on Decent Homes works may now not be realised and tenants who have already had works to their homes deferred at least once feel that they are now being punished for their co-operation.”