Last updated Date:13/06/2012
ALMOs are the arms length management organisations that manage about half of the council housing stock in England, on behalf of councils. They were originally proposed by the government in the April 2000 housing green paper, following lobbying by CIH and others, and CIH collaborated with government in working out the details of how they would operate.
Since that date, 70 ALMOs have been established and more than £6bn has been invested by ALMOs in bringing homes up to the Decent Homes Standard. They have made tremendous advances in involving their residents, who take part in the governance of each ALMO at various levels and indeed often chair the ALMO board.
At the present time, with the completion of their renovation programmes, some councils are re-evaluating their ALMOs and some have decided to take housing management back ‘in house’.
The government has recently reissued earlier advice on the importce of councils taking account of residents' views when considering this, and CIH welcomes this guidance.
CIH is a firm believer in ALMOs and has advocated them having more powers and greater ability to borrow money to invest in the housing stock. In 2005, CIH worked with the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and with HouseMark to publish the report ALMOs – A new future for council housing which helped develop the case for the current reform of council housing finance.
In 2011, the NFA published the report Building on the potential of ALMOs to invest in local communities, which was partly written by CIH Consultancy, and puts forward several models for wider community ownership of ALMOs. Some councils and their tenants are beginning to explore these options.
- Rochdale Boroughwide Housing has now become a mutual organisation, owned by its tenants and employees.
- Gloucester City Homes plans to adopt the ‘CoCo’ model advocated in the NFA’s 2011 report, subject to the views of tenants.