Haringey Council insources housing arm for £1.1m

Aerial view of residential streets in Muswell Hill

Aerial view of residential streets in Muswell Hill - Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Haringey Council will bring its housing arm in-house after the move received “overwhelming support” from residents. 

During a meeting on Tuesday, cabinet members agreed to insource arms-length management organisation Homes for Haringey at a cost of £1.1million. 

A consultation with tenants, leaseholders and residents in temporary accommodation revealed 81% of those who responded backed the proposals and only 5% disagreed. 

Homes for Haringey, which manages more than 20,000 homes, was set up in 2006 to access government funding. Its responsibilities include repairs, major works, asset management and community engagement. 

According to the cabinet report, bringing the service back under direct council control will “streamline and strengthen governance and accountability structures” and save money that can be reinvested in services for residents. 

Cllr Julie Davies, cabinet member for employment, skills and corporate services, said: “We have completed our consultation with local residents, and there is overwhelming support for moving forward to bring both organisations together.  

“We believe it will enable us to take advantage of opportunities to improve our delivery of housing.” 

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The cabinet report reveals the move comes against a changing regulatory backdrop for social housing. Under regulations progressing through parliament following the Grenfell Tower fire, the council will be held accountable for building safety.  

In addition, the Social Housing White Paper published in 2020 seeks a stronger local voice for residents in building safety and housing management and maintenance services. 

According to the report, council officers have started to develop proposals for future “resident participation arrangements” following discussions with existing stakeholder groups and “a review of good practice arrangements in other local authorities”. 

With Haringey Council aiming to build at least 3,000 new council homes by 2032, the report adds that the insourcing will align housing management and maintenance services more closely with the direct delivery of new homes. 

Under questioning from Liberal Democrat opposition leader Luke Cawley-Harrison, a council officer said the civic centre had not “quantified in detail” what the efficiency savings mentioned in the report would be. 

But the officer added: “Clearly, there are costs involved in this transfer going ahead, and we would expect over time we would achieve savings that would offset those costs and enable further investment in front line service delivery.” 

Cabinet members agreed unanimously to go ahead with the insourcing.