Debate on future of housing

MANAGEMENT of council housing is set to be discussed and tenants will be among those to have a say.

Members of Durham County Council’s cabinet are being asked to approve the launch of a consultation on potential options for managing housing owned by the council.

Durham County Council owns around 19,000 homes, with nearly 13,000 being managed by the Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs), East Durham Homes, which looks after 8,500 homes, and Dale and Valley homes, which looks after 4,300.

The remaining 6,100 homes are managed by Durham City Homes, which is the council’s in-house management organisation.

A report to cabinet states that over the next 10 years the council will need to spend around £388m on the housing stock and that currently there is a shortfall of £55m – which rises to £63m with inflation.

The cabinet report, to be discussed next Tuesday, sets out five possible options that have been drawn up with the help of a project steering group made up of tenants, staff and councillors.

The group recommended that the council should seek to transfer housing stock to one or more of the following types of organisation – an ALMO, housing association or other registered provider or a charitable organisation such as a Council Owned Community Owned Company (COCO).

Cabinet are being asked to note a number of options for the management and future financing of the housing stock and agree to the consultation being carried out.